Semiotext(e) / Native Agents
128 pp., 5 x 8 in,
- Published: September 11, 2018
- Publisher: Semiotext(e)
A cult classic in France, the first translation of a novel that captures a subjective stroll through an underground, glamorous Paris
finally there are the rolling stones who call for all these at the same time among them and around them: the policeman, the cross-dresser, the dancer, Frankenstein, the dandy, the robot
—from Dusty Pink
Written with the hope of achieving a “dreary distant banality,” Jean-Jacques Schuhl's first novel is a subjective stroll through an underground, glamorous Paris, a city that slips into the background but never disappears, hovering on the verge of its own suppression. An elegiac and luminous cut-up, Dusty Pink brings together race wire results, editions of France-Soir, the lyrics to well-known British songs, scripts from famous old films, pharmaceutical leaflets, fashion ads, and strips and scraps of culture in which the avant-garde and academicism blur in an overview of the cultural scene. This world of atmospheres, portraits, and dazzling associations of ideas creates a plane of shimmering surfaces.
Published in French in 1972, Jean-Jacques Schuhl's Dusty Pink became a cult classic. This is its first translation.
The long-awaited English-language debut of Dusty Pink by Jean Jacques-Schuhl, who is something like a combination of Lou Reed and Baudelaire, but more careful, less productive, and still, blessedly, living. Schuhl won the Prix Goncourt, quite deservedly, for Ingrid Caven (you might as well order that too, while you're at it). This work, published a good 40 years earlier, is even more radical, dazzling, and strange. A cult classic, sure to start a new trend of some kind, a dusting in dusty pink.
Dusty Pink is an entrancing, somnambulant creature with provocative eyes of crystal and sartorial smarts. It is quite indifferent to whether or not it is understood. And that blithe indifference is thrilling, enlivening.
...this is a fascinating piece of and comment on its times -- and one which still resonates in our own.
The Complete Review
Translator Jeffrey Zuckerman has done an admirable job of making Schuhl's jagged, reference-laden prose comprehensible and meaningful to English-language readers, ensuring that Schuhl's voice comes across in all of its peculiar uniqueness, rhythm, and loveliness.