Today marks the official release of Antoine Volodine’s Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven
, translated from the French by University of Rochester alum J. T. Mahany, and the first of three Volodine books that Open Letter will be bringing out between now and 2017.
If you haven’t already heard of Volodine, you’re in for a bit of a wild ride . . . First off, “Antoine Volodine” is one of several pseudonyms the French author writes and publishes under. Others include Manuela Draeger and Lutz Bassmann.
Speaking of Bassmann, he’s the main character of this novel, and he’s dying in jail, convicted of being part of the “post-exotic” literary movement. This movement—subversive, clandestine, aimed against the powers that be—utilized a number of different techniques in their “Shaggås” and “romances” to spread secret messages and free the minds of readers.
Some of these techniques can be found in the other books by Volodine/Bassmann/Draeger that are available in English: Minor Angels
, In the Time of the Blue Ball
, We Monks & Soldiers
, and Writers.
But this is the first book of Volodine’s to explain some of the ideas behind this imaginary movement—all within a larger framework of Bassmann being interrogated for his crimes.
This literary world that Volodine has been constructing over the past couple decades in France has captivated readers and critics, landing him on the best-seller list and winning him the Prix Médicis for Radiant Terminus
. (Jeffrey Zuckerman is translating this for Open Letter.)
Over the past few months, here in America, Volodine’s reputation has taken off, thanks in large part to this essay in The New Inquiry
in which he explains how post-exoticism “attacks official literature” and gives up more clues to his wild literary game, one which was described by Maria Clementi as “the most exciting project in contemporary French literature . . . Think Faulkner, but after an apocalypse.”
Additionally, Music & Literature is celebrating the launch of Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven with a week of Volodine-related content, starting with this review
To give you more motivation to dive into Volodine’s twisty, meta, fragmented yet all-encompassing world, we’re going to offer Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven
for the ultra-low price of $9.00 if you purchase it through our website and use the code “LESSON” at checkout
. This offer is only valid until the end of May, so take advantage now!