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Louis–Combet, Claude 1932-

Louis-Combet, Claude 1932-

PERSONAL:

Born 1932, in Lyon, France. Education: Studied at l'Abbaye Blanche à Mortain (an abbey) and Université Lyon.

CAREER:

Writer and educator. Professor of philosophy in Besançon, France, beginning 1958; director of a training center for special education teachers for twenty-five years. Military service: Served in the French military, c. 1953-54.

WRITINGS:

Infernaux paluds: Roman, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1970.

L'enfance du verbe: Essais, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1975.

Mémoire de bouche, Éditions de la Différence (Paris, France), 1977.

Marinus et Marina, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1979, J. Corti (Paris, France), 2003.

Blanc, Editions Fata Morgana (Saint-Clément, France), 1980.

Le texte au-dedans, Editions Ubacs (Rennes, France), 1981.

De la terre comme du temps, Lettres vives (Paris, France), 1982.

Mère des croyants: Mythobiographie d'Antoinette Bourignon, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1983.

Beatabeata: Roman, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1985.

Du sens de l'absence, Lettres vives/Distribution Distique (Paris, France), 1985.

Ecrire de langue morte, Editions Ubacs (Rennes, France), 1985.

Histoire des flagellants: Le bon et le mauvais usage de la flagellation parmi les Chrétiens, 1701, J. Millon (Montbonnot-Saint-Martin, France), 1986.

Le roman de Mélusine, A. Michel (Paris, France), 1986.

Le chef de Saint Denis, Ulysse (Plombières les Dijon, France), 1987.

Louise du Néant, ou, Le triomphe de la pauvreté et des humiliations, J. Millon (Montbonnot-Saint-Martin, France), 1987.

Figures de nuit: Nouvelles, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1988.

Le Péché D'écriture, J. Corti (Paris, France), 1990.

Les yeux clos, Deyrolle (Paris, France), 1991.

Dadomorphes & Dadopathes, Deyrolle (Paris, France), 1992.

Le Bœuf-Nabu, ou, Les Métamorphoses du roi des rois, Lettres vives (Paris, France), 1992.

Ouverture du cri, Cadex Éditions (Saussines, France), 1992.

Augias, Et autres infamies, J. Corti (Paris, France), 1993.

Blesse, ronce noire, J. Corti (Paris, France), 1995.

Miroirs du texte, Deyrolle (Paris, France), 1995.

Des mères, Lettres vives/Distribution Distique/Ulysse (Paris, France), 1996.

Rapt et ravissement, Deyrolle (Paris, France), 1996.

Poème des Pierres Précieuses: XIe Siècle, Jérôme Millon (Grenoble, France), 1996.

Passions apocryphes, Lettres vives (Paris, France), 1997.

L'Age de rose, J. Corti (Paris, France), 1997.

Le petit œuvre poétique, J. Corti (Paris, France), 1998.

Le Recours au mythe, J. Corti (Paris, France), 1998.

Proses pour saluer l'absence, J. Corti (Paris, France), 1999.

Le chemin des vanités d'Henri Maccheroni, J. Corti (Paris, France), 2000.

Corpus Christi, L. Scheer (Paris, France), 2001.

L'Homme de texte, Transfigurations, J. Corti (Paris, France), 2002.

Tsé-tsé: suivi de, Mémoire de bouche, J. Corti (Paris, France), 2003.

D'île et de mémoire, J. Corti (Paris, France), 2004.

Terpsichore et autres riveraines, Editions Fata Morgana (Saint-Clément, France), 2004.

Ouvertures, Editions Fata Morgana (Saint-Clément, France), 2004.

Les errances druon, J. Corti (Paris, France), 2005.

L'heure canidée, photographs by Alain Controu, Éditions Léo Scheer, 2005.

Cantilène et fables pour les yeux ronds, J. Corti (Paris, France), 2006.

Visitations: Nouvelles, J. Corti (Paris, France), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Claude Louis-Combet is a French writer whose novels, essays, and collaborations with photographers and artists have explored themes dealing with religious icons, the human form, and sexuality. Born in 1932 in Lyon, France, this Frenchman exhibited a predilection for religious studies and was educated by missionaries during his secondary school years. He then proceeded to study philosophy at l'Abbaye Blanche à Mortain, an abbey, and the Université Lyon. During his studies he took a short break from school in order to join the military. Following his education Louis-Combet's career consisted of teaching as a professor of philosophy and then as a director of a training center for teachers of students with difficulties. Throughout this time, he was working on his writing and was regularly published.

In his book Le chemin des vanités d'Henri Maccheroni, Louis-Combet presents essays that reflect on Maccheroni's photographs of genitalia and the human form. He utilizes these graphic images as a means of illustrating their affinity with Christianity. In the journal World Literature Today, critic David Houston Jones referred to the text as "brilliant, impressive, and highly disturbing." He wrote that "its tense negotiation of the sacred and transgressive is typical of its author's writing." Known for his provocative use of language and religious themes, Louis-Combet has helped to create a book that "never reduces the enigmatic to the mundane," according to Jones.

In Corpus Christi, Louis-Combet's second collaboration with photographer Henri Maccheroni, the duo constructs another unique dialogue between text and image. Maccheroni's photographs are from his series of Christ pictures. According to Jones, again writing in World Literature Today, Louis-Combet's writing appears to "test out seemingly untenable narratorial positions, which put under strain … ingrained assumptions concerning biographical and deeply felt cultural taboos." As a result, Jones felt the book creates a link to "the unspeakable."

Visitations: Nouvelles is a collection of Louis-Combet's prose works, which rework several of his prior themes throughout his writings. A few of these themes, as noted by World Literature Today critic Jones, are "the collision of the erotic and the sacred, the pivotal status of the body, and the contested yet crucial status of Christianity within the narrator's project." He went on to point out that Louis-Combet has written several texts that "tread a fine line between parody and homage" with regard to the Christian religion, which he has frequently used as the backdrop for his writings on sexuality.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

World Literature Today, October 1, 2003, David Houston Jones, review of Corpus Christi, p. 113; May 1, 2007, David Houston Jones, review of Visitations: Nouvelles, p. 70; winter, 2002, David Houston Jones, review of Le chemin des vanités d'Henri Maccheroni.

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