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Demolishing Nisard (French Literature) (French Literature Series) [Paperback]

Eric Chevillard , Jordan Stump

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Book Description

16 Aug 2011 French Literature Series
New work from the acclaimed author of The Crab Nebula and Palafox. It may not be immediately clear why anyone should bother to demolish Nisard. Who on earth, after all, is Désiré Nisard? A nineteenth-century literary critic, pedagogue, and member of the Académie Française, an ardent champion of the glories of seventeenth-century France, an implacable foe of the literature of his own age, a long-forgotten footnote in literary history. An unprepossessing specimen, to be sure, but what harm can he possibly do us now? You d be surprised. Those dull books you keep reading? Blame Nisard. Trouble with your significant other? Nisard again. A painful pebble in your shoe? Nisard. No, Désiré Nisard must be destroyed; the only question is how. But take comfort: with effervescent imagination and blistering wit, Eric Chevillard, one of contemporary France s most dazzlingly singular novelists, has come forward to give us a few ideas.

Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (16 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564786331
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564786333
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 15.1 x 1.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,854,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

What could be more serious and important for an artist than the need to destroy his critics? . . . Chevillard has chosen as target for his ire the destructive Jean Napoléon Désiré Nisard (1806 1888) . . . [and] subverts this obsession into brilliant comedy. Nisard is everywhere . . . We may choose between taking Nisard s side or enlisting to destroy Nisard ourselves. --Le Monde

Chevillard is not only an extremely funny and witty writer, he also happens to be one of the most fascinating stylists at work in French today. To read him is to expose oneself to serpentine phrases and paragraphs, to crawl on the page, to take the long ride and then the short ride, to enjoy one-sentence haikus, to discover an art of the counterpoint that always catches the reader off guard. --Quarterly Conversation

About the Author

Eric Chevillard was born in 1964 in La Roche-sur-Yon in the west of France. He published his first novel, Mourir m enrhume (Dying Gives Me a Cold), at the age of twenty-three, and has since gone on to publish more than twenty works of fiction, including The Crab Nebula, On the Ceiling, Palafox, and Demolishing Nisard. Jordan Stump is the noted translator of several modern French novelists, including novel prize winner Claude Simon, for whom his translation of Le Jardin des Plantes won the French American Foundation s Translation Prize.

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