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S a tragic accident But what if it wasn’t an accident at all What if Barthes was murdered. Well that was an unexpected delightI can't say I would ever have chosen to read this book had it not been longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and been the only book from the said longlist stocked by my local bookshop From the blurb I had imagined it would be rather pretentious and self congratulatory and whilst there was occasionally an element of the latter overall I found it jolly good fun I loved the evolving relationship between Bayard and his sidekick Simon I loved the concept of the underground fight club for intellectuals Logos Club I liked the juxtaposition of the philosophy and semiotics versus the occasionally adolescent slapstick humourI can't imagine this winning the MBI Prize but I'm glad it was longlisted and that I was thus prompted to read it because I thought it was great

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La Septième Fonction du langageParis The Fonction du ePUB #180 literary critic Roland Barthes dies struck by a laundry van. On the second page of this novel in a scene set during the Spring of 1980 the author's first person voice suddenly interrupts the omniscient narrator to wonder about a tiny detail of the scenario the narrator is in the process of setting up The author's voice is speaking to the reader from thirty five years after the event the narrator is describing and since the event really happened—a famous literary figure knocked down while crossing the street—accuracy in the setting should be important But the detail he focuses on seems uite trivial he wonders if the chain of shops called Vieux Camper Old Camper were present in Paris's Latin uarter in 1980 which is something he could easily have looked up on Wikipedia In any case I didn't immediately see how that chain of shops could be relevant to the scene that was playing outI wondered about that for a few pages until interesting intrusions by the author and curious details absorbed my attention Indeed details caught my eye constantly in the narrative so that I soon felt like a detective looking for clues which was apt enough as this novel uickly becomes a detective story a policier as they say in French but a very different policier to the usual one in that the accident that launches the fictional investigation into the whereabouts of the mysterious 'seventh function of language' really did happen on a street in Paris in 1980 Yes Laurent Binet has set up his investigative tent on the shifting sands between reality and fiction and the reader needs to have a compass handy or at least consult Safari because than half the characters are real figures in the literaryphilosophicalpolitical world of the 1980s and not just in Paris university circles but in those of Bologna and Cornell too We may be familiar with their names but we find ourselves needing to check Wiki facts against Binet 'facts' just to keep ourselves orientated—Ah So Roland Barthes didn't die for a full month after being knocked down while crossing the street I didn't know thatAnd how convenient for the plot that Louis Althusser's wife was killed in 1980 too —Also convenient is the fact that 1980 was when Giscard d'Estaing and Francois Mitterrand were confronting each other for the second time in the French Presidential campaign the elouent Giscard almost certain to win And what a surprise when in 1981 he eventually didn't Around the same time as that election Bjorn Borg confronted Ivan Lendl in Roland Garros to another unexected outcome Binet picked his moment in time well—And hey what do you know Roland Barthes and his colleague Michel Foucault then in their late fifties and early sixties used to freuent the same bathhouses Was that where Binet was going with his 'Vieux Camper' reference I wonder—Where did I hear of the American academic Morris Zapp Aha He's a David Lodge character from precisely the eighties—And how interesting that Philippe Sollers and the super sharp Julia Kristeva were a couple in real life as well as in this novel That's another thing I didn't know But all the same surely Sollers never had an encounter with a pruning shears Although come to think of it his prose might have benefitted from pruning given the long 'turns' he has in this book —Ah hah Jacues Derrida that master of the power of language really did visit Cornell in the eighties but hold on HE didn't die until 2004 M Binet vous n'êtes pas dieu uand mêmeLaurent Binet travels around the world like some Deus ex Machina arranging and rearranging history to suit his purposes When it comes to his fictional characters we accept that he can do that For them Laurent Binet IS god He can jump in and save them spectacularly if it suits him even at the risk of causing his readers to raise an eyebrow—a blue Renault Fuego turns up incredibly often just at crucial moments But being God Binet kills as well as saves which is ok too except when one of those he kills is a real life person who didn't obligingly die in 1980 as Barthes and Althusser's wife had done La vie n'est pas un roman we whisper in Binet's direction but he has chosen not to heed any reminders about life not being as convenient as fictionSo yes Laurent Binet takes liberties and not only with life and death issues but with the private details of real people's lives I'm guessing that among the real life characters who were still living in 2015 when this book appeared there were a few bruised egos Philippe Sollers' and Julia Kristeva's not the least Umberto Eco whose 'Name of the Rose' appeared in 1980 coincidentally was probably less upset when he read about himself in this book I imagine him muttering l'uomo è la misura di tutte le cose and he wouldn't be wrong as regards how the plot of this book plays out in any case There's a character who though born in the early pages for the benefit of the plot refuses to die when the plot ends His name is Simon and Simon proves himself to be than the measure of all the various thug elements which the author contrives to place in his path and with increasingly violent outcomes as the story progresses Simon should be dead by the end but like James Bond he rises again and again—and always gets the girl too it's not for nothing that he was lecturing on the semiotics of James Bond films when the narrator introduced him into the story on page 38 But if Simon survives the book it's because the author has shared something uite powerful with his main character a tool that never made available to Bond the power of language Simon knows how to decode the world and he knows how to make use of his findings As hero of his own story he takes charge of the ending in spite of the author sending in enemy factions at the last minute Simon remains the 'living' proof that the one who controls language controls power Of course this book inevitably had me thinking about politics today and the role of language in controlling power While Binet created a hopeful scenario near the end of the story by imagining how a young Hawaiian student in Colombia University in 1980 might have gained his famous rhetorical skills politicians no longer need such skills today We see leaders getting elected by endlessly repeating the same catch phrases made up of three or four simple words Get Brexit Done Make America Great Again And now that I think of it three and four make seven

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Download ✓ La Septième Fonction du langage Ê PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ↠ [Epub] ➟ La Septième Fonction du langage By Laurent Binet – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk Paris 1980 The literary critic Roland Barthes dies—struck by a laundry van—after lunch wAfter lunch with the presidential candidate François Mitterand The world of letters mourn. French intelligentsia hate this book It is a good sign Roland Barthes is dead Murder Perhaps Who killed barthes who had discovered the 7th language function able to give the power It is an improbable thriller Tintin at the structuralists We meet Foucault in the gay backrooms Sollers Kristeva Chomsky Searle Eco Jacobsonfrom Bologna to Cornell But especially it is funny hilarious incredibly funny for a french book Generally during rentrée littéraire books are sinister autofiction me and my navel my navel and me Angot and incest Carrère and God For the first time a book intelligent and savagely funny Brilliant