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Explosions by Mathieu Poulin , Translated by Aleshia Jensen

Finalist for QWF Translation Prize in 2019


Mathieu Poulin brings us an action comedy of a novel, starring big-budget, explosion-happy movie director Michael Bay. What if Bay were, against all odds, a misunderstood genius right up there with the likes of Plato, Sartre, and Nietzsche? What if his films were more than just Baydiocre, high-grossing box-office successes held in low esteem by most movie critics? What if Bad Boys was a film about decolonization? What if The Rock was about failing to be recognized by one’s peers? If Armageddon was about a post-human future? And Pearl Harbor was a reflection on the freedom afforded an artist when striving to transform fact into fiction? Poulin takes his hypothesis and runs with it. Bayhem ensues as our leading man sets out in hot pursuit of the truth, finding more questions than answers between epic car chases and sexy love interests. Who are his real parents and why did they abandon him? Who keeps following him? Did someone intentionally try to poison him, aware of his deathly allergy to sesame? And most importantly: What is meaning?


Et alors que le jeune homme, que les années de formation avaient également familiarisé avec les rudiments de la gymnastique, absorba le choc du contact avec le sol à l’aide d’une instinctive et gracieuse roulade à la suite de laquelle il poursuivit sa course. Le taxi immobilisé fut soulevé d’une façon spectaculaire par un puissant jet d’eau émanant de l’aqueduc municipal, retomba après quelques secondes, renversé sur son toit, les passants s’immobilisant pour observer le spectacle hors du commun où la destruction du véhicule était adoucie par l’arc-en-ciel naissant du mariage de la lumière et des millions de gouttelettes toujours propulsées dans les cieux.

Just as Michael (whose years of training included basic gymnastics) absorbed the shock of the fall with an instinctive, graceful roll, a powerful jet of water from the city water main suddenly propelled the immobilized taxi into the air then dropped it onto its roof seconds later. Passersby stopped to observe the spectacular sight of the totaled vehicle, tempered by a rainbow springing up as the light hit millions of tiny droplets still shooting into the sky.

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QC Fiction (Baraka Books)