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A major publishing event: the third volume of Michel Leiris’s renowned autobiography, now available in English for the first time in a brilliant translation by Lydia Davis A beloved and versatile author and ethnographer, French intellectual Michel Leiris is often ranked in the company of Proust, Gide, Sartre, and Camus, yet his work remains largely unfamiliar to English-language readers. This brilliant translation of Fibrils, the third volume of his monumental autobiographical project The Rules of the Game, invites us to discover why Lévi-Strauss proclaimed him “incontestably one of the greatest writers of the century.” Leiris’s autobiographical essay, a thirty-five-year project, is a primary document of the examined life in the twentieth century. In Fibrils, Leiris reconciles literary commitment with social/political engagement. He recounts extensive travel and anthropological work, including a 1955 visit to Mao’s China. He also details his suicidal “descent into Hell,” when the guilt over an extramarital affair becomes unbearable. A ruthless self-examiner, Leiris seeks to invent a new way of remembering, probe the mechanisms of memory and explore the way a life can be told.
About the Author
Michel Leiris (1901–1990) was a profoundly influential and versatile French intellectual and the author of Manhood and Phantom Africa. His four‑volume autobiographical essay, The Rules of the Game, serves as a primary document of artistic life in the twentieth century. Lydia Davis has received numerous awards as a translator of works from the French and as the author of the best-selling fiction collections Collected Stories and Can’t and Won’t.