From the prizewinning author of HHhH comes The Seventh Function of Language, a romp through the French intelligentsia of the 20th century.
Paris, 1980. The literary critic Roland Barthes dies - struck by a laundry van - after lunch with the presidential candidate François Mitterand. The world of letters mourns a tragic accident. But what if it wasn't an accident at all? What if Barthes was murdered?
In The Seventh Function of Language, Laurent Binet spins a madcap secret history of the French intelligentsia, starring such luminaries as Jacques Derrida, Umberto Eco, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva - as well as the hapless police detective Jacques Bayard, whose new case will plunge him into the depths of literary theory. Soon Bayard finds himself in search of a lost manuscript by the linguist Roman Jakobson on the mysterious "seventh function of language".
A brilliantly erudite comedy that recalls Flaubert's Parrot and The Name of the Rose - with more than a dash of The Da Vinci Code - The Seventh Function of Language takes us from the cafés of Paris to the corridors of Cornell University and into the duels and orgies of the Logos Club, a secret philosophical society that dates to the era of the Roman Empire. Binet has written both a send-up and a wildly exuberant celebration of the French intellectual tradition.
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