Guyotat, Pierre 1940-

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Guyotat, Pierre 1940-


Born 1940, in Bourg-Argental, France.




Writer. Worked as journalist in Paris, France, including for France Observateur and Nouvel Observateur.


Sur en cheval (novel), Seuil (Paris, France), 1961.

Ashby (novel), Seuil (Paris, France), 1964.

Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats, sept chants (novel; title means "Tomb of 500,000 Soldiers"), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1967.

Éden, Éden, Éden (novel), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1970, translated by Graham Fox as Eden, Eden, Eden, Creation Books (London, England), 1995.

Littérature interdite (essays), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1972.

Bond en avant (play), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1972.

Prostitution (novel), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1975, revised edition, 1987.

Le Livre (novel), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1984.

Vivre (essays), Denoël, (Paris, France), 1984, revised edition, 2003.

Bivouac (play), first produced, 1987.

(With Sam Francis) Wanted Female, Lapis Press (Los Angeles, CA), 1995.

Progénitures (novel), Gallimard (Paris, France), 2000.

(With Marianne Alphant) Explications (interview), Scheer (Paris, France), 2000.

Musiques (musical commentary; includes twelve CDs), Scheer (Paris, France), 2002.

Carnets de bord, Volume 1: 1962-69 (logbooks), Lignes-Manifeste (Paris, France), 2005.

Coma (memoir), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 2006.


Controversy surrounding the writings of French author Pierre Guyotat began with his third and fourth novels, Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats, sept chants and Éden, Éden, Éden. These are works whose themes include lurid sex, torture, slavery, and prostitution. Eden, Eden, Eden was banned in France from 1970 to 1981.

Guyotat was a boy during the German occupation, and his childhood was fraught with trauma, including his gang rape at the age of seven by a group of older boys. Guyotat, who was briefly a member of the Communist Party, uses violence in his books to give voice to the voiceless. "In Guyotat's mature novels," remarked John Taylor in the Times Literary Supplement, "‘processes’ (action) and the epic viewpoint are primordial. Instead of traditional plots, his fictions exhibit long sequences of brief, distinct acts that force the reader to contemplate humanity in its most rudimentary and repugnant postures." Guyotat is also known for his experimentations with punctuation, spelling, and form.

A music lover, Guyotat has commented on classical and contemporary music on French radio. A collection of these programs was published as Musiques, which consists of a book and twelve CDs. Guyotat has also published a number of volumes that provide an insight into his life and work, including the first volume of his autobiography, Carnets de bord, which covers the period from 1962 to 1969. Coma is a memoir of his emotional breakdown in 1980 and 1981.



Brun, Catherine, Pierre Guyotat: Essai biographique, Scheer (Paris, France), 2005.

Guyotat, Pierre, Carnets de bord, Volume 1: 1962-69, Lignes-Manifeste (Paris, France), 2005.

Guyotat, Pierre, Coma, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 2006.


Center for Book Culture, (January 13, 2007), John Taylor, "Reading Pierre Guyotat."

Times Literary Supplement Online, (March 15, 2006), John Taylor, "The Inhuman Work of Pierre Guyotat."

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Guyotat, Pierre 1940-

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