“[When I turned twelve] it seemed necessary that I stop behaving the way I was behaving, the way I had always behaved. I would have to watch the gestures I made while talking. I’d have to make my voice sound deeper, to devote myself to masculine activities. More soccer, different television programs, different CDs to listen to. Every morning in the bathroom getting ready I would repeat the same phrase to myself over and over again so many times that it lost all meaning, becoming nothing but a series of syllables, of sounds. Then I’d stop and start over again. ‘Today I’m gonna be a tough guy’….

“Each day was a new ordeal: people don’t change as easily as that….And yet I had understood that living a lie was the only chance I had of bringing a new truth into existence.” — Édouard Louis, En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule (originally published in 2014; English-language publication, 2017)

ÉDOUARD LOUIS, THE END OF EDDY, translated from the French by Michael Lucey (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017)

Available at Skylight Books, in Los Feliz, and Book Soup, West Hollywood.

Louis is also the director of the philosophy and sociology series Les Mots, published by Presses Universitaires de France, and with Geoffroy de Lagasnerie co-authored the “Manifeste pour une contre-offensive intellectuelle et politique,” recently translated into English by Los Angeles Review of Books. 

See: lareviewofbooks.org/article/manifesto-for-an-intellectual-and-political-counter-offensive/

Édouard Louis Image credit: Alchetron

Édouard Louis
Image credit: Alchetron

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