Written in Invisible Ink: Selected Stories

Written in Invisible Ink: Selected Stories


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Stories that map the writer's artistic development, written with candor, detachment, and passion.

Hervé Guibert published twenty-five books before dying of AIDS in 1991 at age 36. An originator of French "autofiction" of the 1990s, Guibert wrote with aggressive candor, detachment, and passion, mixing diary writing, memoir, and fiction. Best known for the series of books he wrote during the last years of his life, chronicling his coexistence with illness, he has been a powerful influence on many contemporary writers.

Written in Invisible Ink maps the writer's artistic development, from his earliest texts—fragmented stories of queer desire—to the unnervingly photorealistic descriptions in Vice and the autobiographical sojourns of Singular Adventures . Propaganda Death , his harsh, visceral debut, is included in its entirety. The volume concludes with a series of short, jewel-like stories composed at the end of his life. These anarchic and lyrical pieces are translated into English for the first time by Jeffrey Zuckerman.

From midnight encounters with strangers to tormented relationships with friends, from a blistering sequence written for Roland Barthes to a tender summoning of Michel Foucault upon his death, these texts lay bare Guibert's relentless obsessions in miniature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635901191
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 05/19/2020
Series: Semiotext(e) / Native Agents
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 135,962
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Hervé Guibert (1955–1991) was a writer, a photography critic for Le Monde, a photographer, and a filmmaker. In 1984 he and Patrice Chereau were awarded a César for best screenplay for L'Homme Blessé. Shortly before his death from AIDS, he completed La Pudeur ou L'impudeur, a video work that chronicles the last days of his life.

Table of Contents

Translator's Preface 9

A Note on the Chronology 19

Propaganda Death 25

My body, due to the effects of lust or pain… 27

Monologue I Cosmetic Butchery 30

Monologue II Photographs 32

Monologue III Internal Mongolia 33

Self-Portrait in Shards 36

Pillage 40

The Glance 44

A Lover's Brief Journal 46

Account of a Crime 54

Newspaper Clipping 55

Propaganda Death (One Performance Only) 57

Five Marble Tables 65

Propaganda Death No. 0 71

Slaughter 73

An Indecent Dream 75

Pure Fantasy 77

Labial Flesh 79

Final Outrages 81

Vice 83

Personal Effects (Inventory of Bougainville's Travel Case) 87

The Comb 89

The Cotton Swab 90

The Blackhead Remover 92

The Nose Wipe 93

The Exfoliating Glove 94

The Cuticle Trimmer 95

The Eyelash Curler 96

The Cat o' Nine Tails 97

The Rigoliot's Paper 98

The Tongue Depressor 100

The Ether Mask 101

The Gloves 103

The Daguerreotype of a Dead Child 104

The Teddy-Bear Vial 105

The Vibrating Chair 106

The Neck Brace 108

The Static Electricity Machine 109

The Flypaper 113

The Vacuum Machine 114

A Route 115

Regulation 117

The Hammam 118

The Planetarium 123

The Museum of the École de médicine 126

The Palace of Desirable Monsters 128

The Sting of Love and Other Texts 131

The Sting of Love 133

The Knife Thrower 136

Posthumous Novel 142

A Screenwriter in Love 149

For P. Dedication in Invisible Ink 153

Vertigoes 164

Obituary 169

Singular Adventures 175

A Kiss for Samuel 177

The Trip to Brussels 182

The Desire to Imitate 190

Mauve the Virgin 213

Mauve the Virgin 215

Flash Paper 227

Joan of Arc's Head 241

A Man's Secrets 251

The Earthquake 257

The Lemon Tree 260

Acknowledgments 267

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

To read Herve Guibert is to be love-stung, pricked, turned on, turned mad, haunted, beguiled. Guibert comes to us 'disguised as lover, standing halfway between declamation and secret' - a precarious, transitory, place, - deceptive, erotic, and true all at once. The range on display in this selection is astonishing.

Justin Torres, Author of We the Animals

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