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L'Inceste by Christine Angot
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L'Inceste (1999)

by Christine Angot

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734255,780 (3.3)1
"A daring novel that made Christine Angot one of the most controversial figures in contemporary France recounts the narrator's incestuous relationship with her father. Tess Lewis's forceful translation brings into English this audacious novel of taboo. The narrator is falling out from a torrential relationship with another woman. Delirious with love and yearning, her thoughts grow increasingly cyclical and wild, until exposing the trauma lying behind her pain. With the intimacy offered by a confession, the narrator embarks on a psychoanalysis of herself, giving the reader entry into her tangled experiences with homosexuality, paranoia, and, at the core of it all, incest. In a masterful translation from the French by Tess Lewis, Christine Angot's Incest audaciously confronts its readers with one of our greatest taboos"--… (more)

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Showing 4 of 4
This novel is truly one story in many parts, and is not for the faint of heart. While the subject matter is seemingly taboo, it is more than that. Throughout the pages you read about a myriad of sexual trysts, conquests, fetishes, all told as recollections; a given fact that what you're reading is purely what the writer wants you to know. I feel that power is left with Angot, when in most narratives it would be taken away. This is not your typical Beginning, Middle, End, sort of story, rather you're brought into a life and world, and only given an explanation to any of it much later than you'd anticipate. However I did find myself constantly questioning the authenticity of Angot's recollections. The writing draws you in so closely, so deliberately, that only after you finish do you ask if any of it was real. The very nature of Angot's book is controversial, and in so many parts unbelievable, the voice it gives though, the stories it tells, are so much more than what they are, and even what they aren't. This is one book I had to continually leave and come back too; trying to read more than a chapter or two, a few dozen pages at a time, often yielded so much to consume and take in that I simply had to stop. Being overwhelmed isn't something I always like in books. Written to feel like a diary, or just someone telling you all the kinky stuff they've done is unnerving. You'll feel buzzed after you read this, you'll feel your skin tingling and crawling. This is not a modern Lolita, this is entirely something else. ( )
1 vote BrainyHeroine | Mar 20, 2018 |
https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/164553574748/incest-by-christine-angot

…A man’s sex penetrates radically. I like what’s radical. Other kinds of penetration are possible, borders, journeys…

Angot begins finally at the three-quarter mark to describe the incest in meeting her father, whom she never previously knew, and then subsequently being charmed by him. Eight days in which she was afforded the chance to know him firsthand as a father, and then as a lover for a time, first with that kiss on the lips and then whatever else Angot chooses to eventually deliver on her page.

…And I’m still a dog and I’m still looking for a master.

Isn’t all good writing some form of obsession, a supersaturation of some pressing demand on our heart and the meaning of our being? Lives riddled by mistakes and insufficient plans. Character studies among the worst of the worst. The insistence to finally get things right. To make of life something more interesting and palatable. Trying on names for things and different ideas. Seeing things in ways others are not susceptible to or aware of. Taking that one step out of line and suffering the consequences. No playing it safe on the sidelines. Decorum saved for our last days and attempts at amendments guaranteed to be forgotten within days of being deceased. A moving on regardless of past promises. Hollow effects falling on deaf ears. There is no cover, Lish said. Charge the fire.

…in Savoie there was a church in the village where all the houses had flagstone roofs, in this church the Stations of the Cross were particularly beautiful and the confessional witnessed my open mouth on my father’s penis, I had to finish him off in the car, he didn’t want to ejaculate in the confessional after all.

Angot claims she does not care what others think of her, or her writing. Her pen must be free of mediation that might control the outcome. She has no agenda, no vengeance on her page, just her freedom of expression. And damn those she says who want a story, or plot and romance without the pain of process it takes in getting to the end. And she claims she will, as desire is the vehicle in which to escape our despair. Angot goes on to say, Tough luck. That is her exacting sentence, and there is no doubt it is she who is speaking.

…Dogs are stupid, you can get them to suck on a plastic bone, and they’re stupid, dogs believe you.

Her needs are rarely met. Meanwhile she licks and sucks and fucks whomever needs it. And then creates entire books about the subject and her behavior. Angot is popular in France and widely read. She is controversial, at times sued, and in spite of it wins the occasional award judged for important writing. But she often feels despicable while unable to do anything about this feeling. Similar to the trap she is unable to escape from. And yet I do sympathize with her, still wanting her to indulge herself in every profane act imaginable. I want her dutifully soiled by her own making and then have the courage to write about it. It is Angot’s chosen way to redemption in her search for satisfaction on the page. It is her perpetual hunger unassuaged and a monster in the making. ( )
  MSarki | Jan 7, 2018 |
Not a good book if you are triggered by abusive relationships, including incest. But it is a brutal and harrowing window into that world for those of us who are lucky enough never to have experienced it. Her ability to write about that as well as sexual fluidity is worth the discomfort of some of the situations. The cover is a perfect uncomfortable match to the text. Hoping it's not too autobiographical... ( )
  jveezer | Jan 3, 2018 |
A twisty, repetitive, lost-in-her-own-thoughts maelstrom of a book. Basically, it can all be summed up with a quote straight from the book:


your writing is so unbelievable, intelligent, muddled, but always luminous, accessible, direct, physical. Your readers don’t understand a thing and they understand everything. It’s intimate, personal, shameless, autobiographical, and universal.


But it's harrowing subject matter -- the dissolution of a relationship takes up maybe the first three quarters of the book, then the last quarter details of Angot's (or a fictional version of Angot, it is purposefully unclear) incestuous relationship with her father, but all trapped in spiraling thoughts. I often get trapped in my own spiraling thoughts with no way out too. Yay for not feeling so alone, even if the subject matter isn't about me at all. Overthinking writers of the world -- unite!

Incest by Christine Angot went on sale November 7, 2017.

I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  reluctantm | Nov 7, 2017 |
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It's winter's return

| Look, the sky's overcast | And the snow is falling again | Sing Noël in my heart |Sing the Heav'nly Child | Christmas and happier days | Childhood, my long-ago childhood --Charles Trenet, Le Retour des saisons
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I shouldn't dedicate this one to you my beautiful Léonore, and so nice too, as you asked me to add.
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I was homosexual for three months.
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Writing is a kind of rampart against insanity. --p.163
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