Found this at Infinite Thought a while ago. A story by Badiou translated into English. Am curious about his novels, maybe try one in French?.. Also wonder how well known he is as a fiction writer in France.

Am stealing this reference and bio from Infinite Thought:

Story can be found in French Writing Today, ed. by Simon Watson Taylor (also translated the story) (London: Penguin, 1968). Original reference is: Alain Badiou, ‘Histoire de Duphort’ from Almagestes (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1964).

‘Born 1937 in Rabat, Moroco. Graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris with a degree in philosophy. At present lecturer in philosophy at the University of Reims. The short text printed in this volume, an extract from his first novel, Almagestes (1964), written between 1956 and 1960, must not be considered particularly ‘representative’ of an extremely diffuse and complex work. The second volume of what is intended to be a trilogy, Portulans, started in 1960, appeared in 1967. Badiou’s critical articles include ‘L’autonomie du processus esthétique’ (Cahiers Marxistes Léninistes, September 1966), and a long essay on the Marxist philosopher L. Althusser (Critique, May 1967).’



5 thoughts on “Fiction by Badiou

  1. ah – i’ve been wondering about this for awhile. glad to see an english translation (i unfortunately have yet to learn the french language…)!

  2. He Kieran – me too, but reading is ok, sometimes, with inhumane effort. Although, this Badiou story is pretty dense prose even in English. You would think the guy might want to give himself a break.

  3. Haha, true, concerning his text. It reminds me a bit of ‘nouveau roman’ period work….considering when this was written…coincidental? I’ve never really seen Badiou mention any writers from that period (at least not yet). Makes you wonder. Interesting text, nonetheless.

  4. its as if he has written the story in order to provide a challenge to any one trying to order that story into sets!
    Its cool to see the actual wildness in Badiou.

  5. I don’t see the confusion. It’s a simple story, though wild and absurd, about an aloof, perceptive guy who finds himself intruding in someone’s “private business,” which is to say their madness. The little exchange about who’s mad and who not at the end is very funny, and the whole thing is deliciously absurd and hilarious. It’s about how strange other people can be and how little we care. Duphort cares more about the triangle forming in the clouds than the wailing nutjob getting stabbed behind him “for her own good.” But we don’t blame him. He’s got a point. They’re off their rocker and probably helpless, and it’s not exactly his business: he just ran up there to help someone who was screaming, and instead she invites him for dinner and blabbers about how it’s raining when it’s not.

    I was pleasantly surprised. It was a good story and very funny. I’d be interested in checking out his novels if they become available in English.

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