The Novelist’s Lexicon

Writers on the Words That Define Their Work

Edited by Villa Gillet / Le Monde

Columbia University Press

The Novelist’s Lexicon

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Pub Date: October 2010

ISBN: 9780231150804

168 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $16.95£14.95

Pub Date: October 2010

ISBN: 9780231521697

168 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $16.99£14.95

The Novelist’s Lexicon

Writers on the Words That Define Their Work

Edited by Villa Gillet / Le Monde

Columbia University Press

At the renowned, international literary conference hosted by Villa Gillet and Le Monde, organizers asked more than seventy prominent authors to choose a word that opens a door to their work. Their musings, collected here for the first time, offer an extraordinary portrait of writing and reading from the novelist's perspective. Organized alphabetically by keyword, the anthology is filled with intriguing, amusing, and often surprising insight, essential to an intimate understanding of literature.

Through these personal "passwords," authors articulate the function of language, character, plot, and structure. Throughout the process, they reveal their relationship to the elements of story. Jonathan Lethem discusses the necessity of "furniture" in the novel. A. S. Byatt describes the power of the narrative web. Colum McCann details the benefits of anonymity. Daniel Mendelsohn expounds on the unknowable, or what the author should or should not impart to the reader. Etgar Keret explains the importance of balagan, a Hebrew word meaning "total chaos," and Annie Proulx clarifies terroir, which embodies the complexities of time, place, geography, weather, and climate. Other participants include Rick Moody on adumbrated, Upamanyu Chatterjee on the bildungsroman, Enrique Vila-Matas on discipline, Adam Thirwell on hedonism, Nuruddin Farah on identities, Andre Brink on the heretic, and Péter Esterhazy on the power and potential of words, words, words.
Enlightening and enjoyable. World Literature Today
Foreword
Preface
A
Adumbrated, by Rick Moody
Aletherature, by Hélène Cixous
Amen, by Zeruya Shalev
Anonymity, by Colum Mccann
Autofiction, by Philippe Vilain
Available, by Lyonel Trouillot
Awareness of Banality, by Dimitri Verhulst
B
Balagan, by Etgar Keret
The Banana Republic of Letters, by Chloé Delaume
Beauty, by Robert Dessaix
Bildungsroman, by Upamanyu Chatterjee
Breton, by Christophe Honoré
Bricoleur, by Monika Fagerholm
C
Catin, by Jacques Henric
Chaff, by Ayerdhal
Cinderella, by Eric Reinhardt
Creature, by Alissa York
Cunnilingus, by Rikki Ducornet
D
Disappointment, by Nelly Arcan
Discipline, by Enrique Vila-Matas
Dream, by Dany Laferrière
E
Échappée, by Marie Desplechin
Evolution, by Karen Connelly
F
Faire, by Christine Angot
Fille, by Alain Fleischer
Furniture, by Jonathan Lethem
H
Happiness, by Wei-Wei
Harmony and Reconciliation, by Hwang Sok-Yong
Hedonism, by Adam Thirlwell
Heretic, by André Brink
Honesty, by Peter Stamm
I
"I", by Rachid El Daif
Identities, by Nuruddin Farah
Wise Imagination, by Pascal Mercier
India, by Tarun J. Tejpal
Insomnia, by Ludmila Ulitskaya
Island, by Erri De Luca
L
To Last, by Giuseppe Culicchia
Laughter, by Tariq Ali
Lies, by Adriaan Van Dis
Loyalty, by Duong Thu Huong
M
Mariquita, by James Cañón
The Meaning of A Word..., by Kirsty Gunn
The Strolling Mirror, by Rodrigo Fresán
N
No, by Olivia Rosenthal
No Why, by Yannick Haenel
Nomad, by Elif Shafak
The Novel As Web, by A. S. Byatt
Novel/Life, by James Meek
What Is The Novel?, by Alaa El Aswany
Novice, by Nicolas Fargues
P
Paralipomena, by Lydie Salvayre
Pathos, by Alberto Garlini
Phantom, by Ying Chen
Physical, by Luc Lang
Plague, by David Peace
(The) Present, by Jean-Yves Cendrey
R
"Real", by Philippe Forest
The Real, by Nicole Malinconi
(Holy) Russia, by Geneviève Brisac
S
A Successful Sentence, by Gila Lustiger
Shadow, by Elisabetta Rasy
Signed D.C., by Dennis Cooper
Silence, by David Albahari
The Depopulated Skies, by Thomas Jonigk
Suffering, by Fatos Kongoli
T
Terroir, by Annie Proulx
U
Un-, by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Unknowable, by Daniel Mendelsohn
The Unreal, by Arthur Japin
W
Waiting/Attention, by Anne Weber
Woman, by Benoîte Groult
The Word Word, by Leslie Kaplan
"Words, Words, Words", by Péter Esterházy
Work, by Rafael Chirbes
Y
Yusuf, by Suhayl Saadi
Z
Zorby, by James Flint
Contributors
Index
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  • About the Author

    Created in 1987 by the Region Rhone Alpes, the Villa Gillet operates as a center for the study and promotion of contemporary art and thought. In collaboration with Le Monde , they organize the acclaimed festival and conference, International Forum on the Novel.