Some decadent writers wage war against ideas or institutions. Pierre Guyotat waged war against the French language, and now Creation Books has opened a new front so that he can wage war against the English language too.
This alleged “book” contains a single sentence that runs for 181 pages, telling a disturbing and pornographic story of depravity in war-torn Algeria. Rules about prose, readability, and taste are discarded, and what’s left is a book that does nothing but blast you with sensation. I get the idea that Guyotat didn’t care about about what the book makes you feel. He just wanted you to feel SOMETHING.
The author was drafted in the Algerian war when he was twenty, tried to induce desertion among the ranks, and was imprisoned for several months in a hole in the ground. This adds an exciting edge to Eden x 3, similar to the Marquis de Sade and Jesus Ignacio Aldapuerta. Is it really a work of fiction? Are some of the things in it drawn from life?
Hopefully not. If so, I doubt many would feel comfortable shaking Guyotat’s hand at a book signing. …Peuhl unsheathing dagger at hips, tracing with point of blade – bent: youths gutted against onyx wall – semi-circle around vulva, plunging blade into mute flesh, tearing, stripping, slicing muscles, nerves running from vulva into flaccid sheath covering strangulated member… An audiobook version would likely consist of a voice actor vomiting at a microphone for 40 minutes.
Throughout this book, I was struck by Guyotat’s interest in getting young boys into physically compromising positions. He’s not alone in that view, by the way. According to most of the transgressive writers I’ve read (Dennis Cooper, William S Burroughs, Jean Genet, etc), boy-rape is pretty much the tops. Girls will do if you’re hard up, but it’s just not the same.
The rainbow is unweaved somewhat by Guyotat’s limited vocabulary – the word “jissom” appears dozens of times, it seems. Maybe Creation’s translation can be blamed for that, though. Some of the prose seems…idiosyncratic (“grease exuded from grass bung, hardening, vortex veering back to Venus”), and I wonder if the credited “Graham Fox” is another name for “James Havoc”. Someone should ask him. Assuming he’s not dead this weekend, natch.
Eden x 3 is probably most valuable as a “novelty read”. It’s a challenging book and I don’t know if anyone has ever read it right the way through. It’s kinda like what Sade or Bataille would read like if you took away their philosophy books, lesioned their prefrontal cortex, and sent them off to Algeria with a set of Benwa balls instead of a gun.