Thomas Pesquet will read Marguerite Duras for a dictation of space at the Air Museum

It is a dictation of a rather peculiar kind. Lovers of space and words are invited on Sunday to participate in a giant dictation, which will be read in orbit by Thomas Pesquet and broadcast to the
Air and Space museum du Bourget, near Paris. About 500 people of all ages are expected, provided with a sheet and a pen, to write under the dictation of the astronaut an extract from the novel by Marguerite Duras. A dam against the Pacific, specify the organizers of this open-air, open-air event.

At 3 p.m., on the exhibition tarmac where tables and chairs will be set up, a giant screen will broadcast a pre-recorded video of Thomas Pesquet, on a mission since April in the International Space Station, 400 km from Earth. “It was Thomas Pesquet who chose this classic of French literature”, explains the novelist Rachid Santaki, founder of the giant dictation.

“We’re going to make people dream! “

For eight years, this author of black novels (including Angels dress in curds) “takes dictation out of school” to decline it in improbable places and make it a popular and “grandiose” exercise: he has read more than 500 texts in penitentiary establishments, urban districts, at the Stade de France, but also on social networks and on the radio.

“By taking dictation into space, we will make people dream! “Enthuses the writer, anxious to overcome the” trauma “that may have been for some of the exercise on the benches of the school. “I really like the principle of making fun – I hope – an exercise that sometimes has a bad reputation”, abounds in his message the 43-year-old astronaut.

When Thomas Pesquet read Duras, at the age of 20

Thomas Pesquet says he read at the age of 20 A dam against the Pacific, published in 1950. “Participating in the dictation of space, it makes me want to read it again with my eyes today, to see how the metaphor of the dam resonates in me now”.

After his first reading of the extract (approximately 700 characters), Rachid Santaki will tackle the second, in slow flow, before the self-correction session. The event will be broadcast on Saturday September 11 at 5 p.m. during its broadcast on France Culture.

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