Wednesday, September 7, 2022


The 9/2 edition of the
 TLS contains a review of Cacophonies: The Excremental Canon of French Literature. “French literature is full of shit. So begins, and concludes Annabel L. Kim’s exuberant, if at times nauseating study.” The reviewer, Russell Williams, revels in the author’s preoccupation perhaps wondering to himself why in the competitive world of publishing, this book was chosen from the “slush” pile. “Cacophony” is a form of dissonance, but “cacophony” is a neologism created to advance the author’s argument that “the time is ripe for a faecal awakening.” Sub faeces aeternitatis!  The tome under review deals with literature but if it were to comprise art it would have to include the neo-conceptualist Wim Delvoye’s internationally exhibited “Cloaca”—a work that actually produces shit. Excretion is a democratizing process. No one is immune. Imagine say the Queen Mother taking a dump. This may be one of the messages of Pasolini’s infamous Salo, where beautiful naked inmates dine on their tormentors’ piles. You might say that “ashes to ashes” is the last stage in a life process that includes the ingestion and digestion of organic matter. No meditation on bodily processes can be complete without mention of Courbet’s “The Evolution of the World,” whose subject is depicted with her legs wantonly spread. A post-modernist sequel would undoubtedly have shown the fluids which flowed out of the orifices so graphically displayed. “Kim’s readings are creative, bold and surprising,” Williams remarks.“They reek, but…they open up a field of literary waste studies that poses pressing ecological questions." Cacaphonies may be a waste, but should be required reading for even the shittiest course.

read "Dr. Pangloss" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and watch the trailer for Erotomania

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