Source Database: 
Source Entry URL: 
Source Entry OAI-PMH Identifier:
Author(s) of the Source Entry: 
Claire Ezekiel
Source Entry Language(s): 

Nuit Noire is a creation by Dutey and Jane Sautiere (1997) published in alire 10. The work itself begins as what appears to be a dark night. The screen is completely black and dark. White text appears and falls slowly, and the words become clearer at the center of the page; then, the text disappears again. The text falls in groups, perhaps in strophes, but one must read the order of the lines, not the words, in reverse order because the work begins, in fact, with the last line of the poem and progresses towards the beginning. The second time, the poem begins at the bottom of the screen and moves up the screen rather than falling to the bottom. According to Philippe Bootz, the poem is a retrograde text. The work is also a metaphorical animation where the text moves, but the words themselves do not change. Here is the text (from the start to the end): Nuit noire, odeur de tubéreuses. Toussent les grenouilles toutes ensemble et toutes ensembles se taisent, pour de plus fluettes et de plus mystérieuses voix. Une radio qui chante l’opéra chinois peut-être, ou peut-être pas. Une palme métallique au-dessus de la tête fait osciller la moustiquaire laiteuse. Mais ni tangage ni roulis dans la jonque l'oreille dans l’oreiller trop mou entend crisser les insectes. Sur le mur bat le cœur du petit margouillat translucide et frais. The poem itself is a story that describes the details and elements of a dark night. The narrator perhaps is passing a dark night in nature and describing the sounds, the events, and his emotional experiences. The viewer sees the black screen and the white words in the work perhaps as a reflection of the night and of the light odor of the tubéreuses, which are white and fragrant flowers. The words appear crackled and unclear except for at the center of the screen, which could be a representation of the point of view of the narrator who is looking at the stars and the dark sky between branches of trees, making his view of the sky somewhat obstructed and crackled. Also, the center of the screen where the words are most clear could represent the moon that shines in the center of the stars. The poem describes the sounds of the frogs and a mysterious voice that is thought to be a radio. It mentions insects that chirp and the heart of the lizard that beats. It is the dark, black night that permits the accentuation of the other senses like hearing, touch, and smell. This work uses repetition and rhyme that suggest an erotic aspect. The vocabulary, however, is what suggests and truly defines the eroticism of a dark night.