Renaud Camus

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Renaud Camus in 2013

Renaud Camus (French: [ʁəno kamy]; born 10 August 1946) is a French writer.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Chamalières, Puy-de-Dôme, in the Auvergne region of France. He spent some time studying in England and traveling in the United States, particularly New York and California (he taught for a semester in a college in Arkansas). He quickly began to circulate among writers (Louis Aragon, Roland Barthes, Marguerite Duras, etc.) and visual artists (the Warhol circle, the New York School, Gilbert and George, etc.).[1] He is openly gay and an outspoken defender of gay rights, although, as with social issues in general, he keeps his distance from doctrinaire positions.[1] One of his first published works (and the only one (partially) translated in English), with a preface by Barthes, is Tricks (1979; enlarged and revised in 1982 and 1988), a "chronicle" consisting of over-detailed descriptions of homosexual encounters in France and elsewhere. Fragments of other works were published in the 75th issue of Yale French Studies (1988).

Camus is an exceptionally prolific writer. His work could be divided into four categories: straightforward prose (travel writing, traditional-form novels, polemic, and lengthy yearly journals (diary) published from 1989 to the present; "creative" prose: "experimental" novels and a large and ever-growing, largely unpublished web text, Burnt Boats (Vaisseaux brûlés); writings on painting and culture; and personal essays.

He has also formed a political party, "Le Parti de l’In-nocence[2]", continually evolving its platform, a curious blend of traditional leftist/socialist political values and conservative social values. It plays no role in French politics, but Camus seems to take it very seriously, adding position statements to the party’s website on a nearly daily basis.

Although he has a growing base of faithful and fervent readers, he is not read widely. This is partly because of the difficulty of some of his work and partly because of his alienation from the literary establishment, in which he is well known, largely because of his journals. This alienation derives from his no-holds-barred approach in his journals and his adamant insistence on expressing his convictions – political, moral, personal – in his writing (some shun him because they fear being described and/or quoted). In his Diary of 1994 (published in 2000 under the title La campagne de France), Renaud Camus commented on the fact that the membership of a regular panel of literary critics supposed to cover a broad range of literary genres in a programme series ("Panorama") run by the French national radio (France Culture) comprised a majority of persons of Jewish descent who tended to exclusively focus discussions on Jewish authors and community-centered issues. This comment, often misquoted in the French media at that time, caused widespread controversy and drew much criticism from observers like the noted French journalist Jean Daniel,[3] who described Camus' remarks as anti-Semitic. Ironically, Renaud Camus was warmly supported by several prominent Jewish intellectuals, including French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut during the entire controversy, the latter underscoring Renaud Camus’ unflinching support for Israel. In 2012, he supported Marine Le Pen in the French presidential elections.[1]

Subsequently, and on several occasions, Renaud Camus was given the opportunity to clarify this comment of 2000, including in the studios of that very radio station : He never objected to any community-oriented programmes to be broadcast by that radio network, let alone any programme giving prime of place to the literary production of any Jewish community or being exclusively dedicated to Jewish culture ; his comment was meant to draw the attention of his readers to a literary programme run by a Governmental radio network which had narrowed its original scope to one almost exclusively dedicated to the literary production of one community, under the biased influence of some members of the panel in question. During the past few years, Renaud Camus has been often invited as guest by this radio station[4] in similar programmes to discuss literary and art topics. He lives in Château de Plieux (South-West France) where he organizes art exhibitions and runs his own political party, the Party of "Non-Nuisance" (Parti de L'In-Nocence).

Bibliography[edit]

Eclogues[edit]

  • I. Passage, Flammarion (1975)
  • II. Échange (signed Denis Duparc), Flammarion (1976)
  • III. Travers
    • 1. Travers (signed Renaud Camus and Tony Duparc), Hachette (1978)
    • 2. Été (Travers II) (signed Jean-Renaud Camus and Denis Duvert), Hachette (1982)
    • 3. L'amour l'automne (Travers III) (signed J.R.G. Le Camus and Antoine du Parc), P.O.L. (2007)

Elegies[edit]

  • Élégies pour quelques-uns, P.O.L. (1988)
  • L'Élégie de Chamalières, Sables (1989) and P.O.L. (1991)
  • L'Élégie de Budapest in Le voyage à l'est, Balland and La Maison des écrivains (1990)
  • Le Bord des larmes, P.O.L. (1990)
  • Le Lac de Caresse, P.O.L. (1991)
  • Vie du chien Horla, P.O.L. (2003)

Eulogies[edit]

  • Éloge moral du paraître, Sables (1995) and Éloge du paraître, P.O.L. (2000)
  • Syntaxe ou l'autre dans la langue, followed by Éloge de la honte and Voix basse ou l'autre dans la voix, P.O.L. (2004)

Chronicles[edit]

  • Journal d'un voyage en France, Hachette (1981)
  • Tricks: 25 encounters, Saint Martin's Press (1981) and Serpent's Tail (1995) [Tricks, Mazarine (1978) and P.O.L. (1988)]
  • Incomparable, with Farid Tali, P.O.L. (1999)
  • Corbeaux, Impressions Nouvelles (2000)

Diaries[edit]

  • Journal de « Travers » (1976–1977), two volumes, Fayard (2007)
  • Journal romain (1985–1986), P.O.L. (1987)
  • Vigiles : journal 1987, P.O.L. (1990)
  • Aguets : journal 1988, P.O.L. (1990)
  • Fendre l'air : journal 1989, P.O.L. (1991)
  • L'Esprit des terrasses : journal 1990, P.O.L. (1994)
  • La Guerre de Transylvanie : journal 1991, P.O.L. (1996)
  • Le Château de Seix : journal 1992, P.O.L. (1997)
  • Graal-Plieux : journal 1993, P.O.L. (1998)
  • La Campagne de France. Journal 1994, Fayard (first edition: April 2000 ; revised edition: June 2000)
  • La Salle des pierres : journal 1995, Fayard (2000)
  • Les nuits de l'âme : journal 1996, Fayard (2000)
  • Derniers jours : journal 1997, Fayard (2002)
  • Hommage au carré : journal 1998, Fayard (2002)
  • Retour à Canossa : journal 1999, Fayard (2002)
  • K.310 : journal 2000, P.O.L. (2003)
  • Sommeil de personne : journal 2001, Fayard (2004)
  • Outrepas : journal 2002, Fayard (2005)
  • Rannoch Moor : journal 2003, Fayard (2006)
  • Journal de « Travers », two volumes, Fayard (2007)
  • Corée l'absente : journal 2004, Fayard (2007)
  • Le royaume de Sobrarbe. Journal 2005, Fayard (2008)
  • L'isolation. Journal 2006, Fayard (2009)
  • Une chance pour le temps. Journal 2007, Fayard (2009)
  • Au nom de Vancouver. Journal 2008, Fayard (2010)
  • Kråkmo. Journal 2009, Fayard (2010)
  • Parti pris. Journal 2010, Fayard (2011)

Novels[edit]

  • Roman roi, P.O.L. (1983)
  • Roman furieux (Roman roi II), P.O.L. (1987)
  • Voyageur en automne, P.O.L. (1992)
  • Le Chasseur de lumières, P.O.L. (1993)
  • L'épuisant désir de ces choses, P.O.L. (1995)
  • L'Inauguration de la salle des Vents, Fayard (2003)
  • Loin, P.O.L. (2009)

Stories[edit]

  • El, drawings by François Matton, P.O.L. (1996)

Directories[edit]

  • Etc. (abécédaire), P.O.L. (1998)
  • Répertoire des délicatesses du français contemporain, P.O.L. (2000) and Seuil (2009)

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • I. Buena Vista Park, Hachette (1980)
  • II. Notes achriennes, P.O.L. (1982)
  • III. Chroniques achriennes, P.O.L. (1984)
  • IV. Notes sur les manières du temps, P.O.L. (1985)
  • V. Esthétique de la solitude, P.O.L. (1990)
  • VI. Du sens, P.O.L. (2002)

Topography[edit]

  • Sept sites mineurs pour des promenades d'arrière saison en Lomagne, Sables (1994) and Onze sites mineurs pour des promenades d'arrière saison en Lomagne, P.O.L. (1997)
  • Le Département de la Lozère, P.O.L. (1996)
  • Le Département du Gers, P.O.L. (1997)
  • Le Département de l'Hérault, P.O.L. (1999)
  • Demeures de l'esprit. Grande-Bretagne I, Fayard (2008)
  • Demeures de l'esprit. France I, Sud-Ouest, Fayard (2008)
  • Demeures de l'esprit. Grande-Bretagne II, Écosse, Irlande, Fayard (2009)
  • Demeures de l'esprit. France II, Nord-Ouest, Fayard (2010)
  • Demeures de l'esprit. Danemark Norvège, Fayard (2010)
  • Demeures de l'esprit. France III, Nord-Est, Fayard (2010)
  • Demeures de l'esprit. Suède, Fayard (2011)

"Qu'"[edit]

  • Qu'il n'y pas de problème de l'emploi, P.O.L. (1994)

Essays[edit]

Writings on art[edit]

  • Discours de Flaran, P.O.L. (1997)
  • Roumains en regard, by Jean-Jacques Moles, Jean-Jacques Moles editions (1999): preface
  • Nightsound (sur Josef Albers) followed by Six prayers, P.O.L. (2000)
  • Commande publique, P.O.L. (2007)

Political writings[edit]

Handbooks[edit]

Talks[edit]

Theatre[edit]

  • Théâtre ce soir, éditions Jean-Paul Bayol (2008)

Photography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c François Bousquet, Qui veut lyncher les dissidents ?, Valeurs Actuelles, 06/09/2012
  2. ^ (French) Official site of "Le Parti de l'In-nocence"
  3. ^ Cf. Le royaume de Sobrarbe. Journal 2005.
  4. ^ (French) Renaud Camus on France Culture

External links[edit]