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Archive for the ‘Novels’ Category

The Seventh Function of Language
A Novel
Laurent Binet; Translated from the French by Sam Taylor. Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
2017

From the prizewinning author of HHhH, “the most insolent novel of the year” (L’Express) is a romp through the French intelligentsia of the twentieth century.

Paris, 1980. The literary critic Roland Barthes dies—struck by a laundry van—after lunch with the presidential candidate François Mitterand. The world of letters mourns a tragic accident. But what if it wasn’t an accident at all? What if Barthes was . . . murdered?

In The Seventh Function of Language, Laurent Binet spins a madcap secret history of the French intelligentsia, starring such luminaries as Jacques Derrida, Umberto Eco, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and Julia Kristeva—as well as the hapless police detective Jacques Bayard, whose new case will plunge him into the depths of literary theory (starting with the French version of Roland Barthes for Dummies). Soon Bayard finds himself in search of a lost manuscript by the linguist Roman Jakobson on the mysterious “seventh function of language.”

A brilliantly erudite comedy with more than a dash of The Da Vinci Code—The Seventh Function of Language takes us from the cafés of Saint-Germain to the corridors of Cornell University, and into the duels and orgies of the Logos Club, a secret philosophical society that dates to the Roman Empire. Binet has written both a send-up and a wildly exuberant celebration of the French intellectual tradition.

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Kaveh.L. Afrasiabi, Shiraz Diaries & Jallad: A Novel on Contemporary Iran. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 20, 2016)

Featuring two interconnected stories set in contemporary Iran, Shiraz Diaries & Jallad tells the story of a young girl’s growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran and her traumatic experiences during and after the Islamic Revolution. Jallad (executioner), on the other hand deals with the hallucinatory world of a novelist working on a fiction — that focuses on some of the female characters introduced to the reader in the diaries.

Dr. Kaveh Afrasiabi has taught political science at Tehran University, Boston University, and Bentley College. Afrasiabi has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Binghamton University, Center For Strategic Research, Tehran and Institute For Strategic Studies in Paris.
The author would also be interested in a translation into French of his work. He can be contacted via his website

Editor: A fictional Foucault appears in the pages of this novel. An extract from an earlier version of the novel:

A suburb of Paris, 1986. Professor Foucault was serious but sarcastic. I could barely hear him with all the television and children noise in the background; holding the phone tightly against my ear, I laughed after hearing his reply to my remark that I thought he had passed away a year or so ago. “I am afraid the news about my death have been extremely, extrement, exaggerated.” We then got on with business. He wanted to know how far I had progressed and how soon I could finish the translation and send it to him. From the way he talked, I got a feeling that he might have wanted to drop the “extrement” from his sarcastic remark. “I have gone to a great length to find you,” he said, “you did not leave a forwarding address in Geneva. I was lucky to run into Dr. Zarabi who happens to know Mr. Farahi, who I understand is a friend of yours. He kindly furnished me with your telephone number.”

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Richard Lee, Laurent Binet: ‘I’ll vote Macron, but I hate having to do it’. The Guardian, 5 May 2017

The Frenchman’s novel about the blurred line between fiction and reality, The 7th Function of Language, is all the more poignant in the era of Trump, Le Pen and fake news.

[…]
His latest novel, The 7th Function of Language (translated by Sam Taylor), is another historical thriller circling the same questions, but approaching them from the opposite direction.

“It’s two faces of the same obsession, which is the complicated relationship between reality and fiction,” says Binet. “In HHhH I wanted to search for historical truth and in this one it was much more playful. I wanted to have fun and to twist the rope of truth until it broke.”

[…]
From Paris to Bologna, Venice to New York, they uncover an international conspiracy and a secret society that could have been drawn from the pages of a novel by Umberto Eco. The Italian philosopher indeed appears as an avuncular mastermind alongside larger-than-life versions of the stars of 1980s literary theory and philosophy. We encounter Michel Foucault tangling with a gigolo in a gay sauna, Gilles Deleuze watching tennis in an apartment that smells of philosophy and stale tobacco, Julia Kristeva in league with the Bulgarian secret police.

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Joyce-cover150Michael Joyce, Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden, Starcherone Books, 2015

Publisher’s site.
Extract from the book on The Brooklyn Rail

See also a book trailer narrated by the author at the end of this post.

Michel Foucault famously wrote, “I am fully aware that I have never written anything other than fictions.” In this polylingual, operatic fantasy comprised of invented letters, most of them unsent, set in Sweden during February 1956 while Foucault was undergoing a Swedish winter, the philosopher finds himself not just researching, but living through, his work to come, Madness and Civilization.

“A lovely book, it gives us another approach to a real human being whose face drawn in sand has resisted his biographers as much as his body of work has resisted all conventional critical attempts at constructing a Bildungsroman, something that is just the opposite of what Joyce is doing here.” – Brian Lennon, author of In Babel’s Shadows

“Michel Foucault, demythologizer of reason and man, in an ecstatic mode, his erotic longings so blighted that lyricism has overcome him—I would call it unimaginable if Michael Joyce hadn’t imagined it. And the object of this compulsion, a debased angel whose French kiss, even in dead letters, mingles the tongues of Europe in one mouth. Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden is simply an achievement.” – R. M. Berry

“A winter’s dream of a novel, original and affecting. Foucault’s superbly imagined voice sings of love and madness and death and a boundless need to get at the root of that confounding species called homo sapiens. The liminal, polylingual prose is a tour-de-force, the erudition dazzles, the final snowlight at nightfall will haunt you.” – Paul Russell, author of The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov

“Joyce is part of a revolution in narrative form.”
– Newsweek

“Dawn it is, to be sure. The granddaddy of full-length hypertext fiction is Michael Joyce’s landmark Afternoon
– Robert Coover, The New York Times Book Review


Michael Joyce talks about his new novel from Starcherone Books. The novel is a polylingual, operatic fantasy comprised of invented letters, most of them unsent, set in Sweden during February 1956 while Foucault was undergoing a Swedish winter and in which the philosopher finds himself not just researching, but living through, his work to come, Madness and Civilization.

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Scribbling On Foucault’s Walls
Ebook by Quiet Riot Girl

Published: June 29, 2011
Category: Fiction » Literature » Erotica

Entire book available online

Short Description
Imagine if the great, French, homosexual philosopher, Michel Foucault, had in fact had a daughter… This is the story of the girl who wasn’t there…

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