Pierre Guyotat

(Updated on 11/02/2012)

Born in 1940, Pierre Guyotat is probably one the most controversial but recognized novelists of the later 20th century. Since Tomb for 500,000 Soldiers (Gallimard, 1965), which blends war scenes and sexual obsessions of a soldier during the Algerian War, his books became the subject of various polemics. His following book, Eden, Eden, Eden (Gallimard, 1970) was censured immediately after publication but Pierre Guyotat received great support from international intellectuals, artists and even from the former French President Georges Pompidou. Prostitution came out in 1975 (Gallimard) and marked the beginning of Guyotat's radical subversion of French language itself. Suffering from depression, his health degraded in the late 70’s and culminated in a coma, experience he related in an eponym novel Coma (Mercure de France, 2006).

From 1984 to 1986, Guyotat gave a series of readings and performances of his work all over Europe. In 2010, Arrière-fond, his latest autobiographic book, published by Gallimard, has been acclaimed by critics.