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Tony Duvert « SEMIOTEXT(E)

Tony Duvert

Tony Duvert (1945–2008) is the author of fourteen books of fiction and nonfiction. His fifth novel, Paysage de fantaisie (Strange Landscape), won the prestigious Prix Médicis in 1973. Other books translated into English include the novel When Jonathan Died, and the scathing critique of sex and society Good Sex Illustrated (Semiotext(e), 2007).

Good Sex Illustrated

Tony Duvert
Translated by Bruce Benderson

First published in France in 1973, Good Sex Illustrated gleefully deciphers the subtext of a popular sex education manual for children produced during that period. In so doing, Duvert mounts a scabrous and scathing critique of how deftly the “sex-positive” ethos was harnessed to promote the ideal of the nuclear family. Like Michel Houllebecq, Duvert is highly attuned to all the hypocrisies of late twentieth century western “sexual liberation” mass movements. As Bruce Benderson notes in his introduction, Good Sex Illustrated shows that, “in our sexual order, orgasm follows the patterns of any other kind of capital … ‘good sex’ is a voracious profit machine.”

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Diary of an Innocent

Tony Duvert
Translated by Bruce Benderson
Introduction by Bruce Benderson

Now for the first time, Duvert’s most highly crafted novel is available in English. Poetic, brutally frank, and outright shocking, Diary of an Innocent recounts the risky experiences of a sexual adventurer among a tribe of adolescent boys in an imaginary setting that suggests North Africa. More reverie than narrative, Duvert’s Diary presents a cascading series of portraits of the narrator’s adolescent sexual partners and their culture, and ends with a fanciful yet rigorous construction of a reverse world in which marginal sexualities have become the norm.

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