Available for the first time in English, the 1961 French novel is the second by Michèle Bernstein, a founding member of radical avant-garde group The Situationist International and the first wife of Marxist theorist Guy Debord. Following All the King’s Horses, it was written for cash and again cannibalizes the plot of the classic novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, featuring the same characters as Bernstein’s debut: Gilles, Geneviève, Carole and Bertrand. The book parodies the style of the nouveau roman popular in France during the 1950s, with its elongated sentences and nonlinear sense of time and place. As its protagonists drift through the streets of Paris, through the entanglements of a ménage à trois, and the ennui of a summer holiday on the Côte d’Azur, The Night is littered with détournements—unattributed quotations and knowing winks at Situationist practices.
This new English language edition is published in conjunction with the release of the 2013 title After the Night, which uses The Night as a score—a détournement or creative rewrite of the original text by art and publishing collective Everyone Agrees. These books are also available as a two-volume set.
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