The Author and Me

Overview

Eric Chevillard here seeks to clear up a persistent and pernicious literary misunderstanding: the belief that a novel's narrator must necessarily be a mouthpiece for his or her writer's own opinions. Thus, we are introduced to a narrator haunted by a deep loathing for cauliflower gratin (and by a no less passionate fondness for trout almondine), but his monologue has been helpfully and hilariously annotated in order to clarify all the many ways in which this gentleman and Eric Chevillard are nothing alike. ...

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Overview

Eric Chevillard here seeks to clear up a persistent and pernicious literary misunderstanding: the belief that a novel's narrator must necessarily be a mouthpiece for his or her writer's own opinions. Thus, we are introduced to a narrator haunted by a deep loathing for cauliflower gratin (and by a no less passionate fondness for trout almondine), but his monologue has been helpfully and hilariously annotated in order to clarify all the many ways in which this gentleman and Eric Chevillard are nothing alike. Language and logic are pushed to their farthest extremes in one of Chevillard's funniest novels yet.

Dalkey Archive Press

2015 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Finalist

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Chevillard's surprising, skillful prose and bizarre humor focus on life's stranger possibilities, allowing readers to see things from a distinctly different perspective." — Publishers Weekly

Dalkey Archive Press

Three Percent
A thousand cheers...for Eric Chevillard's wonderful The Author and Me. A cross between Beckett's Molloy and Monty Python, it is the funniest novel I've read yet.
Flavorwire
One of the most hilarious novels I've ever read.
Flavorwire

One of the most hilarious novels I've ever read.

Three Percent

A thousand cheers...for Eric Chevillard's wonderful The Author and Me. A cross between Beckett's Molloy and Monty Python, it is the funniest novel I've read yet.

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-07-31
An attempt to map the distance between novelist and character goes awry in this peculiar, funny and intellectually rich romp by Chevillard (On the Ceiling, 2000, etc.).The veteran French novelist opens with a brief foreword declaring his intention to address the intentional fallacy, inventing a wild fiction that he will occasionally interrupt with footnotes. Enter the narrator, who seems distinct not just from Chevillard, but from rational humanity: Buttonholing a young woman at a cafe, he fumes at length about how he turned murderous when his expected lunchtime meal of trout almondine proved to be cauliflower gratin, a dish he loathes with absurd intensity. This at first seems like flimsy material, but the interplay between the text and the footnotes thoughtfully distinguishes the thought patterns of the author and his invention. Audaciously, Chevillard doubles down on this provocative setup by embedding a brief novella within one of the author's footnotes—a 40-page footnote that's hard on the eyes but oddball fun, casting the hero in to a slow-moving chase of an ant that also makes room for a love affair and a circus. This isn't bizarreness for bizarreness' sake; much of what Chevillard (or at least the "Chevillard" of the footnotes) is addressing is the difficulty of corralling one's inventions, making them adhere to reality while being singular and not simply mouthpieces for the writer's own opinions. As the author's lament for the state of literature mirrors his creation's lament for being served a bad meal, it's clear we're deep into an allegory of the frustrations of making original art. But on this score, Chevillard needn't worry—this is accessible, surprising and satisfying metafiction. A curious, cleverly constructed matryoshka doll of unreliable narrators.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781628970753
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 10/14/2014
  • Series: French Literature Series
  • Pages: 170
  • Sales rank: 817,569
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Chevillard was born in 1964 in la Roche-sur-yon in the west of France. He published his first novel at the age of twenty-three, and has since gone on to publish more than twenty works of fiction, many of which are available in English, including The Crab Nebula, On the Ceiling, Palafox, Prehistoric Times, and Demolishing Nisard.

Dalkey Archive Press

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