Focus on... Brigitte Ferrato-Combe and La Réticence project

on the December 14, 2020

Jean-Philippe Toussaint is a French-language Belgian writer, filmmaker and visual artist. He is internationally recognized. He published in Paris by Éditions de Minuit and his work is translated into some thirty languages. He has entrusted the drafts of one of his novels, La Réticence (Minuit, 1991), at the UMR Litt & Arts of the Grenoble Alpes University, so that they could be digitized, transcribed and studied by a team of researchers, engineers and students coordinated by Brigitte Ferrato-Combe.
This is a collection of great interest for literary and genetic studies, as it contains all the preparatory documents for the novel, from the first notes to the proofs and correspondences with the publisher. Contributing to this interest are, on the one hand, Jean-Philippe Toussaint's demand for quality of style, which led him at the time of writing to abundantly annotate his typescript and to rework his text with care, and on the other hand, the original reflection he has been pursuing for several years on putting the archives of his work online.

The drafts (papers) of La Réticence contributory transcription are kept at the Service Interuniversitaire de Documentation (SID). Digital facsimiles and transcripts are now available to a large community of readers and researchers. The TACT platform, the transcription tool, was presented in Bordeaux in June 2019 during the conference "Lire, voir et penser l'œuvre de Jean-Philippe Toussaint" <> and aroused a real interest. The Réticence Project <> is currently receiving many contributions.

In addition, the website dedicated to the Réticence Project  allows to view all the facsimiles, accompanied by their transcription as they are validated. It also makes available
- the metadata developed during the inventory phase of the archival fonds,
- all the visual, sound and graphic creations already made from this collection. Vincent Maillard's graphic experimentations, much appreciated by Jean-Philippe Toussaint during the working sessions that took place in Grenoble on October 15, 2019, were presented in the exhibition "Signé Jean-Philippe Toussaint" at Arras, in parallel with a communication by Brigitte Ferrato-Combe at the "Jean-Philippe Toussaint en coulisses" conference in September 24-25 < >.

The site thus allows, in accordance with the initial double objective, an exploration and appropriation of the drafts by the readers in a scholarly mode – for genetic, literary or stylistic analysis – or in a playful mode. According to the author's desire for "demanding interactivity", everyone can now take hold of his drafts to "add creation to creation".

La Réticence project website: <>
La Réticence project on the TACT platform: <>

Adaptation from a text written by Brigitte Ferrato-Combe

Published on December 14, 2020