Johnnie Gratton
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Experiment and experience in the phototextual projects of Sophie Calle
in Women’s writing in contemporary France

This chapter highlights how Sophie Calle's propensity for thinking through photography impacts on the experimental and experiential dimensions of phototextual project. The phototextual projects that yielded Suite vénitienne and L'Hôtel take the form of essentially furtive attempts to engage with the life of a singular or serial other. In the book Doubles-jeux, the 1998 versions of both Suite vénitienne and L'Hôtel show changes in textual and photographic content, as well as the general layout, when compared with the 'original' versions. Similar changes can even be noted when one moves from the 'original' French paperback version of Doubles-jeux to the larger, lavishly produced English-language version, Double Game, published as a single hardback volume. Calle's enthusiasm for demonstrating the permutability of her published or exhibited phototextual sequences indicates that, for her, as for numerous other contemporary artists, there is no such thing as a definitive, unproblematically date-bound, realisation of a given project.

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Women’s writing in contemporary France

New writers, new literatures in the 1990s

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