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Eden, Eden, Eden by Pierre Guyotat

Eden, Eden, Eden

by Pierre Guyotat

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This is an abrasive deluge of images depicting disease, starvation, rape, and sexual degradation. It is scene after scene of suffering and depravity, this barrage and some jumbled characters its only thin semblance of plot. There is no punctuation, but quite a bit of alliteration. It's borderline unreadable, but it's digestible in the most unpleasant sense of the word. It's an enema to void your sense of morality or your belief in hope. Honestly though, what would be the first thing you would write after you were kept in a hole in the ground for three months? ( )
  poetontheone | Jun 27, 2015 |
This is a text which was almost immediately banned on its publication in France in 1970 - and it is apparently to François Mitterand's extreme culture and refinement (I mean this genuinely) that we owe its return into the public zone a decade or so later. I have to say that I found this translation into English almost unreadable, a savage and relentless stream of semi-consciousness marked by filth and delirious obscenity, disordered syntax, and a lack of punctuation of any kind. That is to say, it is conceived at least in part as a deliberate subversion of aesthetic, literary, and moral norms: I think we owe it to the author to allow the aptness of this style to his conceptualisation of the subject - which doesn't mean we have to think he achieves it entirely well. The text evokes the abjectness and exasperation of war; it is a semi-memoir from the author's years in Algeria - and it is completely proper for a French voice to make utterance against some of what went on there; the sexual undercurrents of human violence pervade these words, as do the sultry north-African heat and dust. 'Eden, Eden, Eden' is provocative and no doubt offensive, certainly perverse: it resembles, however, the deranged rantings of a madman far more than 'pornography' of any normal kind. The manuscript itself - apparently mismatched sheets of paper marked as much by blood and sweat and sperm as by pen and ink - is undoubtedly an artefact of genuine interest and value. I think that something intrinsic is lost in the transcription to orderliness and print - and the voice which I had thought might make a counterpoint with that of Jean Genet, whose underworld turns to something sublime and poetic on the page, here screams in something like wild abstraction, accommodated to none of our conceptual demands. It is our continued vexation with its otherness from, and antagonism against, our own sense of propriety and right and wrong which may be the value of this book more than its text. Unless it is meant simply to revolt, or to deride all sense of meaning at all. For me, the idea of this book is more interesting than its actuality. ( )
2 vote readawayjay | Jun 8, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 187159247X, Paperback)

Published in France in 1970, Eden, Eden, Eden was immediately banned and remained a proscribed text for the next 11 years. Set in a polluted and apocalyptic zone of the Algerian desert in a time of civil warfare, this delirious, lacerating novel brings scenes of brutal carnage into intimate collision with relentless acts of prostitutional sex and humiliation.

Pierre Guyotat has been reviled and revered in equal measure in his native France. With an introduction by Stephen Barber, this is his most livid, murderous book to date.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:29 -0400)

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