Publication Date: October 2004
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The amusingly odd protagonist and narrator of Jean-Philippe Toussaint's novel is an academic on sabbatical in Berlin to work on his book about Titian. With his research completed, all he has left to do is sit down and write. Unfortunately, he can't decide how to refer to his subject Titian, le Titien, Vecellio, Titian Vecellio so instead he starts watching TV continuously, until one day he decides to renounce the most addictive of twentieth-century inventions. As he spends his summer still not writing his book, he is haunted by television, from the video surveillance screens in a museum to a moment when it seems everyone in Berlin is tuned in to Baywatch. One of Toussaint's funniest antiheroes, the protagonist of Television turns daily occurrences into an entertaining reflection on society and the influence of television on our lives.
About the AuthorJean-Philippe Toussaint is the author of nine novels, and the winner of numerous literary prizes, including the Prix Decembre for "The Truth about Marie". His writing has been compared to the works of Samuel Beckett, Jacques Tati, the films of Jim Jarmusch, and even Charlie Chaplin.
Jordan Stump is the noted translator of several modern French novelists, including novel prize winner Claude Simon, for whom his translation of Le Jardin des Plantes won the French American Foundation s Translation Prize.
Warren Motte is chair of the Department of French and Italian at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he specializes in contemporary writing and focuses particularly on experimental works that challenge conventional notions of literary form. He has written several studies of contemporary French Literature, including Fables of the Novel: French Fiction Since 1990, available from Dalkey Archive Press. Translator and editor of Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature, he also edited an issue of the journal SubStance dedicated to the work of Jacques Jouet, and is a contributing editor to Context magazine.