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Tomb for 500,000 Soldiers
This is the first English translation of French writer, Pierre Guyotat's legendary novel, which was recently included in "Le Monde"'s "100 Greatest Novels of the 20th Century." A violent collision of brutal warfare and sexual ecstasy, Guyotat is said to have hallucinated the subject matter as a young soldier during the Algerian war, where the novel is set.
Paperback, 512 pages
Published May 15th 2003 by Creation Books
(first published 1967)
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Can anyone, maybe readers of French, vouch for this Romain Slocombe translation? I'm beginning to wonder whether the grammatical oddities are actually out of faithfulness to the original or whether they are actually just goofs... added to this I am aware that Creation Books is considered deeply unscrupulous. Is his Helen Lane one the one to roll with?
In the introduction to this brutal book, the lengthy delay behind its appearance in English is explained, in part, on the original translator, one Helen Lane, having suffered a devastating spiritual crisis in the midst of her work. I have only read a portion of Tomb, but I can heartily sympathize with the trauma Ms. Lane must have endured. Guyotat pulls absolutely no punches in this lurid, liquid, loathsome, lacerating, libidinal word-splatter let loose from a mind raving in the upper limits of ...more
Got my hands on this about a decade and change late. There were those months of Ballard, Burroughs, Gysin, Kenneth Anger, hash, ReSearch publications, Octave Mirbeau, Foucault, Bataille, Lautreamonte, hash, wine, S.P.K., Verlaine, &c. This would have been a welcome addition. It's a shame it's so rare, expensive, and not because of the absolute worst typesetting I've ever seen, but because this book would make the perfect Christmas gift for unsupecting oafs. 500, 000 Soldiers is a psychologic ...more
I FINALLY finished TOMB FOR 500,000 SOLDIERS, after a relentless amount of dedication (not quite as much as it took me to read GO DOWN MOSES), and all I can say is that I am wiped out. This book definitely will take your mind to places that it will never be ready to go. Guyotat is mad. Perhaps the maddest writer I've come across. Never before have I read anything as aggressive and as punishing, except for, well, Guyotat's follow-up novel, EDEN EDEN EDEN. This book, in many ways, is more gutwrenc ...more
Born in Bourg-Argental, Loire, Guyotat wrote his first novel, Sur un cheval, in 1960. He was called to Algeria in the same year. In 1962 he was found guilty of desertion and publishing forbidden material. After three months in jail he was transferred to a disciplinary centre. Back in Paris, he got involved in journalism, writing first for France Observateur, then for Nouvel Observateur. In 1964, G ...more