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Diary of an Innocent (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) ebook

by ,Bruce Benderson,Tony Duvert

See all 2 images His Diary of an Innocent leads to understanding. It does not advocate the life style nor present how-to instructions for coping with inter-generational desires

A book that reinvents the seduction of literature. Abdellah Taïa, author of Salvation Army. His Diary of an Innocent leads to understanding. It does not advocate the life style nor present how-to instructions for coping with inter-generational desires. Thus, is all the rarer.

Semiotext(e) is to be praised for bringing to the English-speaking reader yet another work of incalculable significance

Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Semiotext(e) is to be praised for bringing to the English-speaking reader yet another work of incalculable significance. Published in France in 1973, Tony Duvert's 'Good Sex Illustrated' is as relevant today - if not more so - than ever.

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Surveys: A Novel (Semiotext(e), Native Agents) Paperback – February 12, 2016

Surveys: A Novel (Semiotext(e), Native Agents) Paperback – February 12, 2016. by Natasha Stagg (Author). Stagg's slim novel deftly explores the shifting landscape of celebrity through the story of a young woman's rise from obscurity to Internet stardom―the 'low numbers' to the 'high ones'―after an online flirtation with a semifamous social media personality.

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A good place to reflect on all those things that we should be asking but don't. Don't be a busy dude, let it take you on that tryp.

Venusia: A True Story (Semiotext(e), Native Agents) Paperback – August 5, 2005. by Mark von Schlegell (Author). Venusia is the first book I've ever read that takes time travel to its logical conclusions, where the coming undone of the fabric of reality is not just a threat but a given from the first page. A good place to reflect on all those things that we should be asking but don't.

Now in English, Duvert's shocking novel about a sexual adventurer among a tribe of adolescent boys in Northern Africa.

"I'd find it amusing if, in a few centuries, the only thing that our descendents condescend to retain of our artistic production, the only thing in which they'll see worlds to admire, to penetrate, the only thing that they'll show off as precious in immense museums after having flushed down the toilet all our acknowledged masterpieces, the only thing that will give them nostalgia and love for us will be our porn."―from Diary of an Innocent

Exiled from the prestigious French literary circles that had adored him in the 1970s, novelist Tony Duvert's life ended in anonymity. In 2008, nineteen years after his last book was published, Duvert's lifeless body was discovered in the small village of Thoré-la-Rochette, where he had been living a life of total seclusion.

Now for the first time, Duvert's most highly crafted novel is available in English. Poetic, brutally frank, and outright shocking, Diary of an Innocent recounts the risky experiences of a sexual adventurer among a tribe of adolescent boys in an imaginary setting that suggests North Africa. More reverie than narrative, Duvert's Diary presents a cascading series of portraits of the narrator's adolescent sexual partners and their culture, and ends with a fanciful yet rigorous construction of a reverse world in which marginal sexualities have become the norm.

Written with gusto and infused with a luminous bitterness, this novel is more unsettling to readers today than it was to its first audience when published in French in 1976. In his openly declared war on society, Duvert presents a worldview that offers no easy moral code and no false narrative solution of redemption. And yet no reader will remain untouched by the book's dazzling language, stinging wit, devotion to matters of the heart, and terse condemnation of today's society.

very erotic adventures with adolescent boys Duvert had.He's a French writer who's almost completely unavailable in English which is a shame because his books are always good.Strange Landscape and When Jonathan Died are also worth reading.very forewarned if such should bother you.
Incredible writing style; dark subject written about honestly (or as honestly as it could have been and still been published).
Having read Duvert's "Good Sex Illustrated", which I found astoundingly insightful, I got "Diary of..". I was hopeful but unsure. It is one of the more beautiful books I have read. Many will object to the subject matter within the novel. Duvert is probably not writing for them. In some ways, these two books revolve around the same subject and yet are completely different. The book rises to the poetic at times and its utter and complete honesty somehow manages to seduce the reader. A special note: Bruce Benderson, the translator of both of these works, deserves a great deal of praise. His rendition of Duvert is a marvel. I can only hope he continues his work, since Duvert has had so little exposure. Thanks are due, as well, to Dennis Cooper, who is listed under the 'made possible by' notes.
Extraordinary prose style and focus on the motivations both superficial and profound of a boy lover characterize this unusually perceptive book. Experienced author Tony Duvert has found a unique way to treat characters and situations deemed unsuitable here, appropriate there. By no means should anyone seek pornographic satisfaction in its pages, for Duvert goes to lengths to avoid any semblance of it. He analyzes the personalities of himself and many of those he has known, not the way a psychologist might, but the way a keenly curious author can. His Diary of an Innocent leads to understanding. It does not advocate the life style nor present how-to instructions for coping with inter-generational desires. Thus, is all the rarer.
Three years after they produced the first English translation of Duvert's Good Sex Illustrated, an unpayable debt is once again due to Semiotext(e), Sylvère Lotringer and translator Bruce Benderson: after a seemingly-interminable wait (almost thirty-five years), JOURNAL D'UN INNOCENT is finally available to English speakers.

Chronologically, JOURNAL loiters between Duvert's two other translated novels: Strange Landscapes (1973) and When Jonathan Died (1978). It contains nothing of the transgressive literary violence that marks the former, neither does it offer the bitter passions of the latter's more classical narrative.

As the text's translator Bruce Benderson notes (in his unduly complaisant and uncharacteristically conservative introduction), the 'innocent' to whom the title of the novel refers could be understood to be the narrator: 'an unnamed lover of boys living temporarily in an unnamed southern city that suggests North Africa of the 1970s'. The narrator's interactions with third-world street boys, each of whom is lovingly and momentarily differentiated, may in one sense offer an historical document, spotlighting a cultural diversity towards a sociability of bodies that has since been deluged under the mondialisation of totalitarianism, operating under a guise of 'universal human rights'.

However, to read JOURNAL as either a catalogue of the narrator's liaisons, or as a eulogy to a bygone era, would be to trammel the novel's continuing force. Indeed, the understandable temptation to privilege the narrator's always-seductive voice carries the risk of obscuring the novel's more collective enunciations, whether in the form of a laughing dog, an ingenious tongue, proud rags or indiscriminate odors.

As often in Duvert's work, in JOURNAL the 'natural world' is neither object nor subject; rather, a plane of immanence. Hence the superficially-random oscillation from paragraph to paragraph between acerbic cultural observations, talkative sheep and rhythmically-contracting sphincters, belies the non-cognitive intensities that harmoniously envelop them all. A master craftsman, Duvert's sparse, yet aphoristic, prose tenderly palpates a seamless continuum of sensations conjoining the narrator and his environs, equally committed to the rustling wings of an impertinent sparrow as to the curvature of narrow hips and the creamy taste of hairless skin.

"And it's only because, in my memory, they're composed of each other that my narrative lends a name to each group of fragments... that's how I can easily create boys with a smile, a nice set of balls, a sentence hovering in the air, a sunlit morning and three pairs of eyes, without worrying about the living from whom these relics have fallen."

As a consequence, JOURNAL's first-person narrator can at times seem paradoxically remote ("I participated in all of it, but it's as if I'd been an invisible witness"). If this is so, it is because JOURNAL speaks not to a rejection of the social, but to the production of an alternative sociality, one marked by a fluidity of embodiment; the commonplace that finds something 'disturbing' or 'repugnant' within the pages of JOURNAL is testament only to an abyssal distance from such an understanding.

Thus a crucial point, that will likely be missed amid the flowing litany of permutations ("bellies, thighs and faces") formed as the narrator's and street boys' organs concur in honorable promiscuity, is that JOURNAL D'UN INNOCENT is, first and foremost, a forceful book of ethics. It is this, perhaps, that most obviously distinguishes it from ostensibly similar works. How to avoid the omnipresent tendencies towards fascisms; how to formulate ways of becoming in which we do not define ourselves in dialectical relation to the social? Camus, Cioran; many struggle with this problematic. However temporarily, Duvert's narrator in JOURNAL encounters jouissance, the imperceptibility of becoming; he rejects measure, reason, futurity - those cherished delusions and hypocrisies of contemporary culture; he offers transvaluation without attempting its universalization.

"I like my life, I'm committed to it, I prefer to live in my head than in any other; what I am, what I do, however, is no better than the opposite - and has the inconvenience, sometimes palpable, of keeping me apart from everybody."

JOURNAL D'UN INNOCENT exalts the necessarily-transitory glory of an unnamed narrator's experiment with life; or more accurately, life's creative experiment through him.

If the role of the artist is to tear a rent in the umbrella of common opinion under which people shelter (Lawrence), then Duvert's art becomes more important than ever when that umbrella has morphed into a seemingly-impenetrable, calcified stratum. It is to be hoped that Semiotext(e) will continue to commission translations, so that Duvert's remaining untranslated work can continue to channel some of its urgently-needed free and windy chaos.
Diary of an Innocent (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) ebook
,Bruce Benderson,Tony Duvert
Literature & Fiction
EPUB size:
1378 kb
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1944 kb
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1676 kb
Semiotext(e) (September 10, 2010)
256 pages
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