Hervé Guibert

Hervé Guibert was the author of more than twenty-five books, many of which redefined the genres of fiction, criticism, autobiography, and memoir. A photography critic for Le Monde from 1977 to 1985, he was also a photographer and filmmaker in his own right, and in 1980 published the photo-novel Suzanne and Louise, a book that combined photographic studies of his great-aunts with stories about them. In 1984 he was awarded a César for best screenplay in partnership with Patrice Chereau for L’Homme Blessé. Shortly before his death, he completed La Pudeur ou L’impudeur, a video work that chronicles the last days of his life while living with AIDS. He died in 1991, at the age of 36.

Written in Invisible Ink
Selected Stories

By Hervé Guibert
Translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman

Stories that map the writer’s artistic development, written with candor, detachment, and passion.

Hervé Guibert published twenty-five books before dying of AIDS in 1991 at age 36. An originator of French “autofiction” of the 1990s, Guibert wrote with aggressive candor, detachment, and passion, mixing diary writing, memoir, and fiction. Best known for the series of books he wrote during the last years of his life, chronicling his coexistence with illness, he has been a powerful influence on many contemporary writers.

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To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life

By Hervé Guibert
Introduction by Andrew Durbin
Afterword by Edmund White
Translated by Linda Coverdale

A novel that describes, with devastating, darkly comic clarity, its narrator’s experience of being diagnosed with AIDS.

First published by Gallimard in 1990, To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life describes, with devastating, darkly comic clarity, its narrator’s experience of being diagnosed with AIDS. Guibert chronicles three months in the penultimate year of the narrator’s life as, in the wake of his friend Muzil’s death, he goes from one quack doctor to another, describing the progression of the disease and recording the reactions of his many friends.

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CrazyforVincent

Crazy for Vincent

By Hervé Guibert
Introduction by Bruce Hainley
Translated by Christine Pichini

Crazy for Vincent begins with the death of the figure it fixates upon: Vincent, a skateboarding, drug-addled, delicate “monster” of a boy in whom the narrator finds a most sublime beauty. By turns tender and violent, Vincent drops in and out of French writer and photographer Hervé Guibert’s life over the span of six years (from 1982, when he first met Vincent as a fifteen-year-old teenager, to 1988). After Vincent’s senseless death, the narrator embarks on a reconnaissance writing mission to retrieve the Vincent that had entered, elevated, and emotionally eviscerated his life, working chronologically backward from the death that opens the text. Assembling Vincent’s fragmentary appearances in his journal, the author seeks to understand what Vincent’s presence in his life had been: a passion? a love? an erotic obsession? or an authorial invention? A parallel inquiry could be made into the book that results: Is it diary, memoir, poem, fiction? Autopsy, crime scene, hagiography, hymn? Crazy for Vincentis a text the very nature of which is as untethered as desire itself.
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