Regular price
Sale price
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price
Shipping calculated at checkout.

By Jean-Pierre Attal

Translated by K.E. Gormley

ISBN: 9781628975048

Publication Date:  11/21/2023


A covert war has begun in which two adversaries of the current regime, Lauménès and Gonamména, have pitted themselves against double agent Karl Résa; woman of mystery Athena Sansadarc; Inspector Loriot and his second-incommand, Hector; and Pierre, the secretary of a revolutionary party out to avenge the murder of Salomon, a childhood friend cut down in his prime by the enemy. This screenplay-novel resembles a classical tragedy less in its division into five acts than in its hidden, internal structure. Be warned, however, that the unities of time and space are not respected, and even the principle of identity, according to which one cannot be simultaneously self and other, is often violated. In this world, every word spoken seems to echo words spoken long ago, each new event brings an eerie sense of déjà vu, and a shape-shifting opponent always seems to be one step ahead. A surreal, fast-paced thriller on the surface, a brilliant recombination of literary classics underneath, The Antagonist was one of the first (and best) hybrids of its kind, still unrivaled for its freshness and invention.

"As much poetry as fiction . . . The really keen reader of The Antagonist could spend happy weeks elucidating all its disguises and transitions, but even read once it has great charm and comic elegance."—Times Literary Supplement

Biographical Information

Jean-Pierre Attal (1931-2014) was an Algerian-French poet, novelist, linguist, and translator—notably of John Donne and Ezra Pound. A professor of English for many years and a scholar of far-ranging interests, he wrote books on subjects as varied as haiku, English grammar, painting, and the authorship of Shakespeare’s works. His groundbreaking 1967 novel The Antagonist bridged the French “new novel” and postmodernism.