5 July 2009

Franck Pavloff, brown, 2001

Two easy-going friends are living under a regime that is gradually tightening its grip. New laws are introduced stating that brown pets are healthier, stronger and eat less than other animals. So as not to upset the authorities they trade in their differently coloured pets for brown ones. Other colours start to disappear, first the cats, then the dogs, then the people...

brown is nothing less than a very succinct short story that first appeared in France as 'Matin Brun', published by a small press more famed for its poetry, and is now available in English with a small commentary about its origin and subsequently very colourful life. It was written by Pavloff (a psychologist and son of a Bulgarian anarchist) as a response to French local elections in 1998 when it was discovered that mainstream political parties had made secret alliances with the extreme right wing Front National. Through word of mouth it has since been used to debate totalitarianism with the FN’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, and has since sold at least 600,000 copies.  PY


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