The Seventh Function of Language
From the prizewinning author of HHhH comes The Seventh Function of Language, a romp through the French intelligentsia of the twentieth century.Paris, 1980. The literary critic Roland Barthes dies-struck by a laundry van-after lunch with the presidential candidate Francois 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 cafes 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.