"A new landmark and a starting-point for new writing." -- Roland Barthes
Eden Eden Edenby Pierre Guyotat
EDEN EDEN EDEN is Pierre Guyotat's legendary novel of atrocity and extreme obscenity, a classic of modern French literature taught on numerous University courses. Set in a polluted and apocalyptic zone of the Algerian desert in a time of civil warfare, this delirious, lacerating novel brings scenes of brutal carnage into intimate collision with relentless acts of prostitutional sex and humiliation.
Eden, Eden, Eden first came out in France in 1971 with a preface by Michel Leiris, Roland Barthes and Philippe Sollers . The book was banned from being publicized or sold to under-18s. A petition of international support was signed (notably by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jean-Paul Sartre, Pierre Boulez, Joseph Beuys, Pierre Dac, Jean Genet, Joseph Kessel, Maurice Blanchot, Max Ernst, Italo Calvino, Jacques Monod, Simone de Beauvoir, and Nathalie Sarraute). Franacois Mitterrand, and Georges Pompidou tried to get the ban lifted but failed. Claude Simon (who won the Nobel Prize in 1985) resigned from the jury of the Prix Medicis after the prize wasn't awarded to Eden, Eden, Eden
Pierre Guyotat has been reviled and revered in equal measure in his native France; his literary progenitors are De Sade, Artaud, Bataille, and Genet. Like Artaud, he views the act of writing as a physical secretion, a feral expectoration of deadly poisons which are remorselessly savage and interrogative in their visceral impact upon the reader.
As well as being a modern masterpiece of literary innovation, EDEN EDEN EDEN is also one of the most intense and graphic accounts of queer sex ever written, and will therefore cross into this market.
With a preface by Roland Barthes, and an introduction by Stephen Barber.
Read an Excerpt
/ Soldiers, helmets cocked down, legs spread, trampling, muscles drawn back, over new-born babes swaddled in scarlet, violet shawls : babies falling from arms of women huddled on floors of G.M.C. trucks ; driver's free hand pushing back goat thrown forward into cab ; / Ferkous pass, RIMA platoon crossing over track ; soldiers jumping out of trucks ; RIMA squad lying down on gravel, heads pressed against flint-pitted, thorn-studded tires, stripping off shirts in shadow of mudguards ; women rocking babies against breasts ; rocking movement stirring up scents sharpened with bonfire-sweat impregnating rags, hair, flesh : oil, cloves, henna, butter, indigo, black antimony - in Ferkous valley, below breakwater heaped with charred cedars, barley, wheat, bee-hives, tombstones, drinks-stand, school, gaddous, fig-trees, mechtas, stone walls oozing spattered with brains, orchards blooming, palm-trees, swollen in fire, exploding : flowers, pollen, buds, grasses, paper, rags spotted with milk, with shit, with blood, fruit-peel, feathers, lifted, shaken, tossed from flame to flame in wind pulling up fire, from earth ; slumping soldiers straightening up, sniffing tarpaulin flaps, pressing tear-stained cheeks onto burning rails, rubbing members against dusty tires ; sucking in cheeks, drooling over painted wood ; truck-squad, down in dry river bed, cutting rhododendrons, milk from stalks mixing on knife-blades with blood of youths disembowelled in onyx-quarry against central vein ; soldiers cutting back, pulling up saplings, digging out roots with studded boots ; others kicking, swinging lopsided : camel-dung, grenades, eagle-carrion ; RIMA squad clambering into trucks, falling onto women, guns at sides, hardened members spurring violet rags clasped between women's thighs ; soldier, chest crushing baby sucking at breast, parting woman's hair pushed over eyes, stroking forehead with fingers covered in powdered onyx ; orgasm spurting saliva from mouth, dowsing baby's buttered scalp ; retracted member resting softening on shawls soaking up dye ; wind shaking trucks, sand whipping against axles, sheet-metal ; / soldiers clambering into trucks : RIMA squad, leaning against tarpaulin pressed down on necks by driving rain, buttoning up ; eyes shining in darkening shadows, fingers glimmering on belt-buckles ; goats, sweat of pursuit around bonfires soaking coats, crouching down, licking rags tied around thighs of women ; silent youth wrapped in sackcloth......
Meet the Author
Guyotat, Pierre (b. 1940). The most avantgarde and subversive French novelist of the later 20th c. Guyotat's works examine the violence of language, sexuality, politics, racism, and war. He is now regarded as one of the greatest of all modern French authors.
Professor Stephen Barber. Stephen is Research Professor of Media Arts at the digital arts research center at Kingston University in the UK, and, in 2008, a Visiting Professor at the California Institute of the Arts. He is the author of nineteen books, and the recipient of several major awards.
Barthes, Roland (1915 - 1980) was a French academic and literary critic whose writings on semiotics, pioneered by Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson, helped establish structuralism and was a central figure in the development of the leaders of recent French philosophy, such as Foucault and Derrida.
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