Кристин Анго: Incest

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Кристин Анго Incest
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Incest: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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A daring novel that made Christine Angot one of the most controversial figures in contemporary France recounts the narrator’s incestuous relationship with her father. Tess Lewis’s forceful translation brings into English this audacious novel of taboo. The narrator is falling out from a torrential relationship with another woman. Delirious with love and yearning, her thoughts grow increasingly cyclical and wild, until exposing the trauma lying behind her pain. With the intimacy offered by a confession, the narrator embarks on a psychoanalysis of herself, giving the reader entry into her tangled experiences with homosexuality, paranoia, and, at the core of it all, incest. In a masterful translation from the French by Tess Lewis, Christine Angot’s Incest audaciously confronts its readers with one of our greatest taboos.

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He had an answer for everything. I was scared of becoming disturbed, even if the pharaohs in Egypt… but no, this way you know it’s a man who loves you.


You should have let that woman go ahead of you.

The correct expression is not par contre but en revanche.

Do not drop the negating particle.

In the country, you say hello to people you encounter.

He was an expert on manners, on grammar, on all languages, on pronunciation, on idiom. He knew a great deal. You had the impression that he knew absolutely everything in certain fields. The adret, the ubac, when to climb to the top of a mountain, when you pass someone you don’t know you greet them.


He came in through the French doors. He’s going to spend a few days and take me to Carcassonne. Going there has been one of my dreams, he was born in the area, so I have some ancestry there. I have Catalonian ancestry through his mother, a woman (who committed suicide) whom I resemble. I’ve seen her face and her profile when she was seventy, I know what I’ll look like at seventy. I will be like her. He sleeps in my bed. He penetrates me. Claude is sleeping downstairs, we have separated. One morning on awakening, I have a vision of him as a monster. I tell him, he gets angry and decides to go to Carcassonne by himself, and earlier than planned. I cry, I go to see Claude downstairs, I’m twenty-six years old. I prepare to tell him that since Nancy, it had started again. He knows, he heard during the night, the mattress made noise. Claude becomes my master. It’s finished, I won’t touch my father again, and he won’t touch me again.

I was a dog, I was looking for a master. And I’m still a dog and I’m still looking for a master. When he barks in my face, like Marie-Christine did on the phone yesterday. It’s normal, I did everything for it. I’m crazy, they’re not going to lock me up because I write and because it’s got a hold on me. Maybe I’ll try to be a monster, just like him, I’m insane, just like him, I speak my language perfectly, just like him, I’m unbearable, just like him I’m charming, maybe, just like him, I’m a brunette, just like him, I have small hands, just like him. I’m a dog, I’m looking for a master, no one wants to be my master anymore. And he, would he be willing to be my master again? Would I still know how to obey him? Would I know how to suck his old cock again right now, maybe his memory would come back. Would I still know how to give him a blow job in a confessional like I did in that church in Savoie, in the village where the houses were all roofed with flagstone? On Sunday, I was visiting some people with Marie-Christine, Patrick was joking about the prior evening when he said, quoting the movie Pédale douce, “It’s not his brains you suck.” It wasn’t his brains I was sucking. That’s how I became crazy. It’s not a very polite way of talking. I’ll finish this book the way I started it, that is in the middle of a complete breakdown, there was a calm phase in the middle, a very short one. It wasn’t his brains I was sucking. Marie-Christine, do you hear me? She doesn’t want to see me anymore, we had started to talk, she doesn’t even want to see me. We’d agreed that the solution might be for me to tell her. To tell her what I’ve suffered. But tonight, Marie-Christine, you’re leaving to spend Christmas in Paris with Nadine, you’re going to celebrate Christmas Eve, there will be twenty-five people there, me, I’ll be alone, Frédéric will come down, so I won’t be alone. We had agreed we’d celebrate on Christmas day but we broke up before that. We won’t go to Rome. We won’t spend the 25th together. You know why? Because in Savoie there was a church in the village where all the houses had flagstone roofs, in this church the Stations of the Cross were particularly beautiful and the confessional witnessed my open mouth on my father’s penis, I had to finish him off in the car, he didn’t want to ejaculate in the confessional after all. It wasn’t his brains I was sucking, do you realize, I could have had very handsome men, I could have loved Nadine’s movies, I could have spent Christmas Eve with you. Either had very handsome men or been with you. But no, you see, Marie-Christine. You’re leaving tonight, we canceled the tickets to Rome. You’re going to be with your family, I’m weeping like the dog I am, you don’t celebrate Christmas with your dog. Dogs are stupid, you can get them to suck on a plastic bone, and they’re stupid, dogs believe you. They don’t even notice what they’re sucking on. It’s horrible being a dog.


Copyright © Christine Angot, 1999

English translation copyright © Tess Lewis, 2017

First Archipelago Books Edition, 2017

L’Inceste was originally published by Éditions Stock (France), 1999.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form without prior written permission of the publisher.

Library of Congress information is available upon request.

Archipelago Books

232 3rd Street #A111

Brooklyn, NY 11215


Distributed by Penguin Random House


Cover art: Louise Bourgeois

Cover and text design: Tetragon, London

Cet ouvrage a bénéficié du soutien du Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Service Culturel de l’Ambassade de France aux Etats-Unis.

This work received support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.

This publication was made possible by the generous support of the Lannan Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

ISBN 9780914671879

Ebook ISBN 9780914671886

v4.1 a

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