Learning What Love Means

Written by Mathieu Lindon |Translated by Bruce Benderson
Semiotext(e) / Native Agents
2017 - August

In 1978, Mathieu Lindon met Michel Foucault. Lindon was twenty-three years old, part of a small group of jaded but innocent, brilliant, and sexually ambivalent friends who came to know Foucault. At first the nominal caretakers of Foucault’s apartment on rue de Vaugirard when he was away, these young friends eventually shared their time, drugs, ambitions, and writings with the older Foucault. Lindon’s friend, the late Herve Guibert, was a key figure within this group. The son of the renowned founder of Editions de Minuit, Lindon grew up with Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Samuel Beckett as family friends. Much was expected of him. But, as he writes in this remarkable spiritual autobiography, it was through his friendship with Foucault—who was neither lover nor father but an older friend—that he found the direction that would influence the rest of his life. 

About the Author

Mathieu Lindon is the author of nineteen books and a staff writer for Liberacion. Learning What Love Means received the prestigious Prix Medici in France in 2011. It is the first of his works to appear in English.


REVIEWS

"The book is a collage of free-associated episodes and interpretatons that together compose for the reader a kind of manual about how to love. … As he runs from apartment to apartment, job to job, or lover to lover, the book becomes a story of conversion testifying to an author’s radical change of viewpoint, which leads to his invitation into the social world through lessons about love.”
 
"A brilliant meditation on friendship, Learning What Loves Means provides an insight into a part of Foucault’s life and work that until now, remained unkown. The book won the prestigious Prix Médicis in 2011 when it was published in French."

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