by Robert Pinget
Translated by Alan Sheridan-Smith
Publication Date: 02/01/2005
In the tradition of Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds, Gilbert Sorrentino's Mulligan Stew, and Raymond Queneau's The Flight of Icarus, Robert Pinget's Mahu or The Material tells the story of Mahu, a lazy man who may be a character in his friend Latirail's failing novel, which is taken over by characters invented by Sinture, yet another writer. The latter half of the novel consists of Mahu's strange and hilarious musings on everything from belly dancers to how he catches ideas from other people in the same way he catches germs. Mahu is Pinget's funniest novel, featuring a mix of dark humor and manic word-games, and is as inventive and energetic now as when it was first published.
Robert Pinget was born in 1920 in Geneva. Pinget was the author of more than thirty books: novels, plays, and “notebooks,” most of which are available in English translation. He died in 1997.