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By Jean-Philippe Toussaint

Translated by Jordan Stump

ISBN: 9781564783721

Publication Date: 10/8/2004

The amusingly odd protagonist and narrator of Jean-Philippe Toussaint's novel is an academic on sabbatical in Berlin to work on his book about Titian. With his research completed, all he has left to do is sit down and write. Unfortunately, he can't decide how to refer to his subject Titian, le Titien, Vecellio, Titian Vecellio so instead he starts watching TV continuously, until one day he decides to renounce the most addictive of twentieth-century inventions. As he spends his summer still not writing his book, he is haunted by television, from the video surveillance screens in a museum to a moment when it seems everyone in Berlin is tuned in to Baywatch. One of Toussaint's funniest antiheroes, the protagonist of Television turns daily occurrences into an entertaining reflection on society and the influence of television on our lives.


"A charming, meandering sliver of fiction in which images and ruminations gracefully accumulate." New York Times

"Very entertaining indeed." Kirkus Reviews

Biographical Information

Jean-Philippe Toussaint is the author of nine novels, and the winner of numerous literary prizes, including the Prix Decembre for The Truth about Marie. His writing has been compared to the works of Samuel Beckett, Jacques Tati, the films of Jim Jarmusch, and even Charlie Chaplin.

Jordan Stump is the noted translator of several modern French novelists, including novel prize winner Claude Simon, for whom his translation of Le Jardin des Plantes won the French American Foundation's Translation Prize. He received the National Translation Award for Prose from the American Literary Translators' Association for his translation of Marie NDaiye's The Cheffe.