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French literature: elitist and pointless?

Publishing a novel in France is harder than ever. With the death of the French intellectual, the world stopped caring what the French have to say. But it’s time to think again

By Andrew Hussey   May 2011

Clockwise from top, writers Edouard Levé, Lounja Charif, Jean Rolin and Malika Mokeddem

The Explosion of the Radiator Hose by Jean Rolin, translated by Louise Rogers Lalaurie, Dalkey Archive Press, £7.99

Suicide by Edouard Levé, translated by Jan Steyn, Dalkey Archive Press, £9.99

In the age of the Kindle and Amazon, haunting the bookstores of Paris remains one of the great pleasures of the city. The best bookshops still defiantly prize literature not for saleability but quality.  They are also unafraid to teach you stuff. Recently, my local bookstore in the Rue Daguerre had a window display on the Swiss…

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