"The Seventh Function of Language" by Laurent Binet (France)
Paris, 1980. The literary critic Roland Barthes dies—struck by a laundry van—after lunch with the presidential candidate François Mitterand.
The world of letters mourns a tragic accident. But what if it wasn’t an accident at all? What if Barthes was . . . murdered? In The
Seventh Function of Language,
Laurent Binet spins a madcap secret history of the French intelligentsia, starring such luminaries as Jacques Derrida, Umberto Eco, Gilles
Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and Julia Kristeva—as well as the hapless police detective Jacques Bayard, whose new case will
plunge him into the depths of literary theory (starting with the French version of Roland Barthes for Dummies). Soon Bayard finds
himself in search of a lost manuscript by the linguist Roman Jakobson on the mysterious “seventh function of language.” A brilliantly
erudite comedy that recalls Flaubert’s Parrot and The Name of the Rose—with more than a dash of The Da Vinci Code—The
Seventh Function of Language takes
us from the cafés of Saint-Germain to the corridors of Cornell University, and into the duels and orgies of the Logos Club, a secret
philosophical society that dates to the Roman Empire. Binet has written both a send-up and a wildly exuberant celebration of the French
intellectual tradition. --goodreads.com
Son of an historian, he was born in Paris, graduated from University of Paris in literature, and taught literature in Parisian suburb and eventually at University. He was awarded the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman for his first novel, HHhH. Laurent Binet est né à Paris. Il a effectué son service militaire en Slovaquie et a partagé son temps entre Paris et Prague pendant plusieurs années. Agrégé de lettres, il est professeur de français en Seine-Saint-Denis depuis dix ans et chargé de cours à l'Université. HHhH est son premier roman. --goodreads.com
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