moves across an existential landscape suggested by Herodotus' account
of Scythians, a landscape of flesh (sarx) and of flesh bitten into
(sarcasm). Sarcasm is language in a state of nature, negating its
own message in favor of body, of surface rather than depth, of clarity
rather than import. Quignard's Sarx is a postmodern Waste
Land--no King, no Grail, no Question.
Pascal Quignard was born in 1948 in Verneuil. In 1994 he resigned
from all his jobs. He has published eighty-four "Little Treatises,"
five novels, and translations from the Latin (Albucius, Porcius Latro),
the Chinese (Kong-souen Long), and the Greek (Lycophron). The film,
All the World's Mornings was made from Quignard's novel of
the same title (Graywolf Press). Two other novels are also available
in English: Alb clits (The Lapis Press) and The Salon in
Württenberg (Grove Weidenfeld).
Sarx is an eerie, chillling prose poem on the violence of language,
on a particular historical example of the flesh become word and the
word become flesh. You've heard of "biting sarcasm? "Sarcasm"
derives from the Greek:
From sarx, flesh.Sarkasmos, sarcasmus: to bite into the flesh.
work of beauty and depth, of history and today."
-Tom Bowden, Education Digest