Prostitution

Overview

Pierre Guyotat's extraordinary novel of 1975, a vast enumeration of sexual acts accumulating and multiplying in an Algerian urban landscape, where every orgasm has its exact price and where every prostitute is one fuck away from death, Prostitution creates its own corporeal language of sex, stripped violently to the bone, inflicting impact upon impact upon the reader's neural system.

Revered in his native France, Guyotat remains an ...

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Overview

Pierre Guyotat's extraordinary novel of 1975, a vast enumeration of sexual acts accumulating and multiplying in an Algerian urban landscape, where every orgasm has its exact price and where every prostitute is one fuck away from death, Prostitution creates its own corporeal language of sex, stripped violently to the bone, inflicting impact upon impact upon the reader's neural system.

Revered in his native France, Guyotat remains an unprecedented literary figure, creating work of absolute originality.

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What People Are Saying

Bruce Benderson
An excerpt from Pierre Guyotat's ground-breaking novel of sexual reductionism and linguistic purification, one of the most radical attacks on the power of civilized language ever attempted.
Pierre Guyotat
This book is a crime... Accentuated rhythmized, lexiconized by...everything I've been forbidden to live
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873760812
  • Publisher: Red Dust, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Series: French Series
  • Pages: 32

Preface

Prostitution (1975) marks the beginning of Guyotat's radical subversion of French language itself.  It is largely a torrent of sexual aggression.  The writing is based upon, but not written in, "true" French.  It is according to the author "an attack on the word,"...Guyotat calls what he now writes "matiere ecrite" - "written stuff", a kind of basic, or primal, creative matter that transcends any one artistic discipline...The look of the apostrophe-riddled text of Prostitution is as important as its semantic aspect. Its words and sounds are combined to stimulate an oral reading - either out loud or internally.
There were some major difficulties in working out an English-based equivalent of Prostitution. By using an Algerian setting and Arabic vernacular to great subversive effect, Guyotat was relying on France's revulsion for its colonial past, it's guilt about the Algerian War, and its panic about the increasing Arab immigration. My staying with the North African orientation would have distanced this text from American readers. Consequently, I made the bold decision to transpose the setting to an unidentified Caribbean location and shifted the linguistic emphasis from French-Arabic to "Spanglish".
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