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Love Stories

Edmund White, 4 November 1993

To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life: A Novel 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by Linda Coverdale.
Quartet, 246 pp., £12.95, November 1991, 9780704370005
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The Man in the Red Hat 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by James Kirkup.
Quartet, 111 pp., £12.95, May 1993, 0 7043 7046 8
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The Compassion Protocol 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by James Kirkup.
Quartet, 202 pp., £13.95, October 1993, 9780704370593
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... Hervé Guibert died on 27 December 1991 from complications resulting from an unsuccessful suicide attempt. He had been ill with Aids for several years and in 1990 had made a spectacular appearance on French television during which he’d discussed his illness and the book he’d written about it, To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life ...


James Wood, 24 August 1995

The Burning Library: Writings on Art, Politics, Sexuality 1969-93 
by Edmund White.
Picador, 385 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 330 33883 8
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Skinned Alive 
by Edmund White.
Chatto, 262 pp., £12.99, March 1995, 0 7011 6175 2
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... witness and sexual confession, and which runs from Proust to the late novelist and autobiographer Hervé Guibert. Both essays propose a separatism: ‘If previously I’d written for an older European heterosexual woman, an ideal reader who helped me to screen out in-jokes and preaching to the converted, I now pictured my reader as another gay man.’ Of ...
... Fernandez, Tony Duvert, Renaud Camus, as well as several who have died in the last decade, such as Hervé Guibert, Guy Hocquenghem and Gilles Barbedette – but I’m sure none of these writers except possibly the militant Fernandez would accept the label ‘gay writer’, although all of them have written primarily about aspects of their own sexual ...

Life on the Town

Michael Wood, 22 May 1997

The Farewell Symphony 
by Edmund White.
Chatto, 504 pp., £16.99, May 1997, 0 7011 3621 9
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... Lost love, old love. No amount of remembered or actual sex can make up for it. Writing about Hervé Guibert in this paper, White praised an evocation of ‘an impossible love, a love between two unfortunates, a love that contains large measures of need and hate – true love, in short’; and in The Farewell Symphony he piles it on, further ...

Unhappy Man

P.N. Furbank, 22 July 1993

The Lives of Michel Foucault 
by David Macey.
Hutchinson, 599 pp., £20, June 1993, 0 09 175344 9
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The Passion of Michel Foucault 
by James Miller.
HarperCollins, 491 pp., £18, June 1993, 0 00 255267 1
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... Street. That is to say we know almost nothing, unless we also trust a short story and a novel by Hervé Guibert, A l’ami qui ne m’a pas sauvé la vie, based on Foucault and his friends but denounced by Daniel Defert and some others as vicious fantasy. In the face of this, one cannot help thinking of that cool, chastened, cunning book La Volonté de ...

Zero Grazing

John Ryle, 5 November 1992

To Blight with Plague: Studies in a Literary Theme 
by Barbara Fass Leavy.
New York, 237 pp., £27.95, August 1992, 0 8147 5059 1
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Epidemics and Ideas: Essays on the Historical Perception of Pestilence 
edited by Terence Ranger and Paul Slack.
Cambridge, 346 pp., £35, April 1992, 9780521402767
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The Fourth Horseman: A Short History of Epidemics, Plagues and Other Scourges 
by Andrew Nikiforuk.
Fourth Estate, 200 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 1 85702 051 0
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In Time of Plague: The History and Social Consequences of Lethal Epidemic Disease 
edited by Arien Mack.
New York, 272 pp., $35, November 1991, 0 8147 5467 8
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Miasmas and Disease: Public Health and the Environment in the Pre-Industrial Age 
by Carlo Cipolla, translated by Elizabeth Potter.
Yale, 101 pp., £16.95, March 1992, 0 300 04806 8
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International Journal of STD and Aids. Vol. II, Supplement I: Aids and the Epidemics of History 
edited by Harry Rolin, Richard Creese and Ronald Mann.
Royal Society of Medicine, January 2000, 0 00 956462 4
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Monopolies of Loss 
by Adam Mars-Jones.
Faber, 250 pp., £5.99, September 1992, 0 571 16691 1
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Aids in Africa: Its Present and Future Impact 
edited by Tony Barrett and Piers Blaikie.
Belhaven, 193 pp., £35, January 1992, 1 85293 115 9
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... than elsewhere; in France it has taken a ferociously introspective turn exemplified by the late Hervé Guibert, whose writings from 1990 to 1992 form a sequential and more-or-less autobiographical account of the process of dying. In Britain, gay writing about Aids, if one may generalise from a few instances, has been less melodramatic, less obsessed ...

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