Tony Duvert

Tony Duvert (1945–2008) is the author of fourteen books of fiction and nonfiction. His fifth novel, Paysage de fantaisie (Strange Landscape), won the prestigious Prix Médicis in 1973. Other books translated into English include the novel When Jonathan Died, and the scathing critique of sex and society Good Sex Illustrated (Semiotext(e), 2007).

atlanticIslandAtlantic Island

By Tony Duvert
Translated by Purdey Lord Kreiden and Michael Thomas Taren

Tony Duvert’s novel Atlantic Island (originally published in French in 1979) takes place in the soul-crushing suburbs of a remote island off the coast of France. It is told through the shifting perspectives of a group of pubescent and prepubescent boys, ages seven to fourteen, who gather together at night in secret to carry out a series of burglaries throughout their neighborhood. The boys vandalize living rooms and kitchens and make off with, for the most part, petty objects of no value. Their exploits leave the adult community perplexed and outraged, especially when a death occurs and the stakes grow more serious.

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Good Sex Illustrated

Tony Duvert

Translated by Bruce Benderson

First published in France in 1973, Good Sex Illustrated gleefully deciphers the subtext of a popular sex education manual for children produced during that period. In so doing, Duvert mounts a scabrous and scathing critique of how deftly the “sex-positive” ethos was harnessed to promote the ideal of the nuclear family. Like Michel Houllebecq, Duvert is highly attuned to all the hypocrisies of late twentieth century western “sexual liberation” mass movements. As Bruce Benderson notes in his introduction, Good Sex Illustrated shows that, “in our sexual order, orgasm follows the patterns of any other kind of capital … ‘good sex’ is a voracious profit machine.”

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Diary of an Innocent

Tony Duvert

Translated by Bruce Benderson

Introduction by Bruce Benderson

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.

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00-HS4-Tony-Duvert-The-Unrecoverable2

The Undiscoverable Reading

…the subversive novel is art consumed by the class that benefits materially, socially and sexually from the order of the realm it attacks. It is a hyper culture that is often above the intellectual resources of the bour- geoisie, and that is shared particularly by a professional elite dedicated to the “cultural” and to rebellion. Liberated speech, whether or not it can actually initiate liberty, is feed for a henhouse with solid wire fencing.

 

 

 

 

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