Tel Quel

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This article is about the French literary magazine. For the Moroccan weekly, see TelQuel.
Tel Quel
Publisher Éditions du Seuil
Founder Philippe Sollers and Jean-Edern Hallier
Year founded 1960
Final issue 1982
Country France
Based in Paris
Language French

Tel Quel (in English "as is") was a French avant-garde literary magazine published between 1960 and 1982.

History and profile[edit]

Tel Quel was founded in 1960 in Paris by Philippe Sollers[1] and Jean-Edern Hallier and published by Éditions du Seuil. Important essays working towards post-structuralism and deconstruction appeared here. Publication ceased in 1982, and the journal was succeeded by L'Infini under Sollers's continued editorship.

It aimed to reflect the avant-garde revaluation of literary, artistic and music criticism. It also promoted the idea of literary structuralism.[1]

The foci of its writings varied, but, as one might read in its name, most writings meant to inscribe what is as it is, emphasizing the metaphor of all language and the deconstruction of control systems set to normalize the masses.

The editors committee included Philippe Sollers, Jean-Edern Hallier, Jean-René Huguenin, Jean Ricardou, Jean Thibaudeau, Michel Deguy, Marcelin Pleynet, Denis Roche, Jean-Louis Baudry, Jean-Pierre Faye, Jacqueline Risset, François Wahl, and Julia Kristeva (married to Philippe Sollers since 1967).

Authors and collaborators include Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Maurice Blanchot, Pierre Boulez, Jacques Derrida, Jean Cayrol, Jean-Pierre Faye, Shoshana Felman, Pierre Guyotat, Julia Kristeva, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Marcelin Pleynet, Maurice Roche, Dominique Rolin, Severo Sarduy, Philippe Sollers, Philippe-Joseph Salazar, Tzvetan Todorov, Francis Ponge, Umberto Eco, Gérard Genette .

In 1971 the journal broke with the French Communist Party and declared its support for Maoism. In 1974 the editorial members Philippe Sollers, Marcelin Pleynet, François Wahl, Roland Barthes and Julia Kristeva visited China. The trip, which was tightly organized by Chinese government officials, would later be processed in several essays and books by the participants. In the autumn of 1976 the journal explicitly distanced itself from Maoism.[2]


  1. ^ a b Richard Aplin; Joseph Montchamp (27 January 2014). Dictionary of Contemporary France. Routledge. p. 454. ISBN 978-1-135-93646-4. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Dora Zhang (23 June 2012). "The Sideways Gaze: Roland Barthes’s Travels in China". Los Angeles Review of Books. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Patrick French and Roland-François Lack (eds.), The Tel Quel Reader (London: Routledge, 1998)
  • Patrick French, The Time of Theory: A History of Tel Quel (1960-1983) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995)
  • Philippe Forest, Histoire de Tel quel: 1960-1982 (Éditions du Seuil, 1995)

External links[edit]