Richard Lee, Laurent Binet: ‘I’ll vote Macron, but I hate having to do it’. The Guardian, 5 May 2017
The Frenchman’s novel about the blurred line between fiction and reality, The 7th Function of Language, is all the more poignant in the era of Trump, Le Pen and fake news.
His latest novel, The 7th Function of Language (translated by Sam Taylor), is another historical thriller circling the same questions, but approaching them from the opposite direction.
“It’s two faces of the same obsession, which is the complicated relationship between reality and fiction,” says Binet. “In HHhH I wanted to search for historical truth and in this one it was much more playful. I wanted to have fun and to twist the rope of truth until it broke.”
From Paris to Bologna, Venice to New York, they uncover an international conspiracy and a secret society that could have been drawn from the pages of a novel by Umberto Eco. The Italian philosopher indeed appears as an avuncular mastermind alongside larger-than-life versions of the stars of 1980s literary theory and philosophy. We encounter Michel Foucault tangling with a gigolo in a gay sauna, Gilles Deleuze watching tennis in an apartment that smells of philosophy and stale tobacco, Julia Kristeva in league with the Bulgarian secret police.