Truth and Consequences:
Camus and the Personal
By Brian Gordon Kennelly

 Le soir, fatigué et énervé, au lit (radio impossible, musique ultra-moderne, sons en crottes de bique), j'ai lu les petites annonces de Libé et du Nouvel Obs: vraiment rien d'intéressant pour «les vieux».
                                                                                                                                  Roland Barthes, « Soirées de Paris »

No longer content simply to list our desires, we now narrate them, neatly packaging them as stories.
                                                                                                                                 Daniel Harris, The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture

A year before his untimely death in 1980, in the days before the internet, before even the minitel bleu or rose, Roland Barthes compared the personals - at that time still print-based - of two popular French dailies.  On the one hand, the advertisements in L'Observateur belied artifice, he noted.  The information their writers shared publicly with potential mates revealed a certain banal sophistication.  Despite the obvious effort the creators of the ads had put into catching the eye of possible matches, in spite of the care with which they had weighed the words before ultimately selecting them and the metaphors underpinning the printed communication for inclusion in the classified section, in the eyes of France's foremost semiotician at the time, a characteristic anthropomorphism all too often functioned as a euphemistic code that got in the way - so much so that it made reading these personals awkward.  As a result, Barthes saw in them « une espèce de rédaction enjouée, à prétention spirituelle, avec des métaphores un peu sophistiquées, en même temps qui sont toujours les mêmes [....] ».

On the other hand, more natural than the ads placed for instance in L'Observateur by the likes of wolves wistfully yearning for youthful pussycats («Jeune loup cherche jeune chatte... »), were those published in the pages of Libération.  They were for Barthes eminently more readable than the ads of L'Observateur.  They were even more enjoyable to read if considered in sequence, if perused one after the other as part of a larger whole.  Moreover, they were in their earnest simplicity - their almost clumsiness - also decidedly original, if not quite modern.  To read through the personals of Libération was, Barthes suggested, not only to experience great pleasure but also to piece together, to link the disparate parts of an exemplary novel that had been split apart in a literary big bang.  It was to experience the renewal of a genre:

Les PA de Libé sont bien, dans la mesure où si on les lit justement comme ça d'affilée, comme les gens le font probablement le samedi, on a l'impression de lire vraiment une sorte de roman éclaté et ça c'est très moderne puisque, aujourd'hui, il y a besoin de faire éclater le roman, de faire éclater le genre, en touches, en départ d'incidents, en départ d'aventures.  Les PA c'est du roman mais du roman en étoile.  Et c'est ce côté romanesque qui est très savoureux à lire.

Barthes both recognized and was inspired by the novelty and the novelistic in the seeking of soulmates or sexual solice in the French press of the time, the «demandes de rapports sentimentaux ou sexuels, que ça soit homme ou femme».  Building on Barthes' belief that these prepaid, printed classified ads, these "novelized vignettes" (Harris 58) can be seductive, that they are «une sorte de drague par phrases» («Mes petites annonces» 1092), Renaud Camus, whose own literary career Barthes helped launch and promote [1], sees in the personal ad something much more.  For Camus, the « demande d'amour, ou demande de demande d'amour, ou demande, tout simplement », does not model a new direction for the novel but serves rather as a new form for writing itself as well as a solution, Charles Porter notes, for the classical problem of autobiography:  « comment suggérer dans un ordre narratif, nécessairement conventionnel, l'ordre de l'esprit humain?  et comment faire saisir l'ordre de son esprit? » («S'annoncer» 95).  The petite annonce is a new genre altogether, one Camus claims was « peu pratiqué en tant que tel avant [lui] », and whose very seductiveness is the essence of the literary («L'origine»).  In 1997, after already having tried his hand at novels, diaries, "elegies", "topographies", a "eulogy", and various other works, he published P.A. (Petite annonce), which he had envisioned from the beginning as "an ad, a personal ad, in any case, with as rigorous a self-portrait as possible" (Vercier 16).  Moreover, the following year, Camus began publishing online Vaisseaux brûlés, a work for which he lays the foundation [2] in P.A., and also of the personal genre.  The latter work, he tells us on what might oxymoronically be considered a sort of electronic coverpage, constitutes a very abundantly annotated edition in hypertextual format of the self-categorized former work, « une version indéfiniment évolutive du même ouvrage qui lui-même est déjà composé, pour une large part de notes et de notes à des notes, etc. ».

Besides a form that is at the same time rhizomatic and labyrinthine (999 lexia ranging in description [3] from «Ne lisez pas» to «L'instance de la perte», all linked through the complicated system of cross-references [4] intertwined between the covers of the printed edition and indefinitely extending it in the hyperlinked electronic annotation published on Camus' personal website), what sets P.A. apartand the so-called "genre" born with it, evolving from it?  Does Camus succeed as he had hoped in his unconventional work in pushing literature to the nth degree, in "making it face up to the truth of its metaphors" (Vercier)?  And at what personal price?


As traditionally defined, the personal ad is characterized by brevity.  Furthermore, it is usually the result of the prudent selection of key details to list when seeking or offering products and services.  But unlike the «texte bref», the «offre ou demande de biens ou de services» that one might expect (Le Nouveau Petit Robert), Camus' work is lengthy.  Moreover, imprudence is, the author proclaims,«la loi [du] genre» (15).  Rather than have judiciously selected those details that might most economically have described his person and the type of male mate he seeks, in the four hundred or so pages of P.A. Camus treats in characteristically exhaustive fashion as many aspects as possible both with abundance and explicitness.  Neither measured, nor shaped by selectiveness, Camus' text is instead bolstered, empowered by inclusiveness.  Indeed, it is limited only by what the author has not been able to imagine.  «Il me semble qu'il n'est rien que je puisse un jour désirer décrire, et qui ne saurait trouver sa place entre les plis de cette Annonce» (353), Camus tells us.  On the offense from the start of his book, and confronting avant la lettre potential critics who may not have heeded the many warnings placed prominently at the beginning of the book not to read it, to leave it on the shelves with the millions of other unread texts in libraries and bookstores, Camus warns of the exhibitionism driving him to reveal all, to speak «des intimités des âmes, des êtres, et surtout de celles de la chair», and for which, he believes, he will no doubt be criticized:

[...] sans hésiter une seconde, [ils] qualifient d'exhibitionniste tout écrivain, quel qu'il soit, qui prend pour thème, ou pour matière d'écriture, sa propre personne: ses bonheurs, ses amours, ses voluptés, ses angoisses, ses échecs, son corps et l'usage qu'il en fait - ou qu'il aimerait en faire, ou qu'il regrette de ne pas en faire.  Toutes choses, j'en ai bien peur, dont il sera sans doute abondamment question (11) et de la façon la plus dépouillée, entre les pages qui vont suivre. (11)

Camus' idea, as seductive as the extended personal advertisement published as a consequence, is to make his life - all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly - an open book.

Now Camus' seeming self-centeredness, the «nombrilisme» for which he will be attacked by those critics having ignored his warnings, can be justified.  Real people can be just as interesting to encounter in texts as fictional characters (14).  Besides, he strives in the text of the personal to reveal more about himself than he ever could or would either in person, in «la pure, vieille et fastidieuse administration d'exister» (376) or in the seductively charged world of the minitelian personals he prefers, « la vraie vie [...] des hommes et des garçons qui se cherchent, serait-ce par un trompeur écran interposé » (19).  At dinner parties, during meetings, in the face-to-face transactions of everyday life, Camus sees himself less a real person than a supernumery, an unwilling actor badly playing a walk-on role.  In public, he is little more than a semi-fictional character defined by incompletion:

Pendant deux ou trois heures [...] il m'a fallu faire figure dans le monde, singer des intérêts polis, faire des phrases, en entendre, interpréter un personnage, en somme.  Ce personnage n'était pas faux, je m'empresse de le préciser: je ne mens pas, je n'ai pas de secrets, je ne joue aucune comédie, en aucun cas je ne me donne pour ce que je ne suis pas (il serait d'ailleurs un peu tard); cependant je ne m'exhibe pas non plus.  Ce personnage n'était pas faux donc - mais il était terriblement incomplet: inexact, non pas par excès, mais par défaut, par omission; privé de tout ce qui, à moi en tout cas, donne la chaleur, l'impulsion d'être, la curiosité du monde, le sentiment d'appartenance au flux précieux de l'existence; et qui doit pouvoir s'appeler le désir, le coeur du désir. (19)

The personal that he has agreed to submit for publication to the Éditions P.O.L. will offer him ample opportunity, both text and context to fill in the gaps.

Unlike those other French homosexuals who define and display themselves in the hyperbole of the minitel, « le lieu de la fiction instituée, constitutive, vernaculaire [...] de l'insincérité reconnue, du mensonge officialisé et même de la mythomanie triomphante » (20), Camus strives above all for truth.  His extended, self-exposing, book-length advertisement will be written, he hopes, to find - or at thevery least to attract - a lover (65) and will offer a more accurate textual self-portrait than those flickering fictions characterized by brevity, anonymity, insincerity, and lies.  In printed copy he will representhimself and his thought patterns as completely and honestly as possible, «de faire en sorte qu[e son] livre soit lui plus qu'il ne l'est lui-même» (394), «pour essayer de tenir ensemble un morceau d'idéeclaire du moment, et deux ou trois autres fragments qui dans la lumière d'un instant paraissaient (ont paru, car ces illuminations durent moins que les mots pour les dire) pouvoir s'accrocher au premier,et même le soutenir et le confirmer, peut-être(166, 179, 595) [....] » (77).  There will therefore be no lies in the wordy ad at which he is at work:  «dans mon journal, ni dans ce livre-ci, il n'y a de mensonge [...] la vérité peut aller toute nue » (312).

As a means better both to be fully honest and to manage his time, Camus will also attempt in the new genre of the personal to erase the boundaries between genres.  Part autoportrait (194), part confession, a prima (Vercier 21) and non-fictional, amalgamous and simultaneous (77), transparent and efficient, there is, he observes, « Pas de frontière entre la vie et le journal, pas de frontière entre le journal et P.A. » (317)  His life and the pages originally written for his journal will, he hopes, be just as much a part of his personal as his personal a part of his journal, his life.  Thus in order to be able to claim not to wear glasses, for instance, Camus vows to complete his text, to submit his ad for publication before visiting an ophthalmologist to have his declining vision professionally checked:

Ma vue avait toujours été excellente, jusqu'aux temps actuels [....] J'ai fait le voeu de finir ce livre avant d'aller consulter un ophtalmologiste - de façon à pouvoir écrire ici, en toute vérité, que je ne porte pas de lunettes... (342)

Near - or short-sightedness can, of course, usually be corrected.  Except in some of the worst cases, the person having difficulty reading, for instance, can always vary the distance from eye to page as a temporary solution, a way to see more clearly.  But is print technology adaptible enough for Camus' seemingly utopian wish of seamlessness, of «continuité», a «nappé entre les livres et le monde [...] où vivre et écrire sont le plus près d'être une même chose » (293)?

In truth, in his desire, his earnest attempt more completely to be present literarily than literally in the personal he is to publish Camus strains the very structure by which texts have traditionally been contained and transmitted, «l'objet livre [...] l'imprimé, [le] broché, [le] relié, [le] volume» (206).  To bring P.A. to fruition, as a book, ironically « [la] forme [la] plus achevée de l'absence-présence» (206), would therefore not be easy : «ce livre, étant donné sa forme (272),va être épouvantablement compliqué à mettre en page [...] la P.O.L. n'arrive pas à le mettre en page» (107, 352).  Yet this would be less due to personal shortcoming than to the difficulty in setting it into print.


Although ultimately printed («Achevé d'imprimer en avril 1997 dans les ateliers de Normandie Roto Impression s.a.»), no matter how diligently Camus may have worked on his text in his medieval castle, and no matter how many faxes he may have sent back and forth between Gascony and Paris in order to see it brought to term, to have published the Camusian personal as a book was ultimately to have undermined it, to have betrayed its open-ended spirit, to have compromised its aesthetic of expandability.  In its published form, therefore, P.A. is remarkable precisely because of its failure to measure up.

1) Limited by print

First, the so-called "nth degree", the limit to which Camus had hoped to push literature turned out to be a printed one.  He soon recognized that the confines of the page compromised his hypertextual subject.  Indeed, Camus had taken on too much; his project was, in his own words, absurd both for what he had hoped to accomplish in and by it:  «Je comptais absurdement sur ce livre pour me tirer d'affaires, de toutes les mauvaises affaires dans lesquelles je suis engagé» (352, emphasis added).  That Camus found the need after seeing P.A. stillborn in print, in the ill-suited «tombeau» (366) that was its book form, to resurrect, extend it is therefore understandable.  Moreover, in an age where print was on its way gradually to being eclipsed by electronic communication (Furman 69), the WorldWideWeb, had opened up new, limitless avenues for self-expression.  Cyberspace also presented a «solution inespérée» to the problems of page layout that had delayed and ultimately underminedthe print-based edition of P.A.  In Vaisseaux brûlés, the «work in progress ininterrompu» («Sans bêtise») that he started publishing online as its extension, these problems evaporate altogether, Camus claims.  As he explains in lexia 2-3-1-2 (an extension of «Statut de vainqueur, statut de vaincu», which extends «Guerre au couteau entre les phrases», already an extension of «Arcanes de tout ce qui n'est pas lu», from the originally published personal), in the «forme heureuse» that is the Web («Sans bêtise»), self-expression is no longer constrained, defined by spatial limits:

Le problème de l'espace est en grande partie résolu, avec le réseau des réseaux.  Les phrases n'ont plus à se disputer l'espace de la page (comme elles le font dans P.A.).  Les paragraphes ni les idées, les chapitres ni les récits n'ont plus à se disputer l'espace du livre.  Les livres eux-mêmes n'ont plus à se disputer les vitrines des libraires, les tables de nouveautés ou les rayonnages des bibliothèques.  L'azur cybernétique leur est offert, et lui n'a pour ainsi dire pas de limites.  Au lieu de se contester les uns aux autres le papier, horizontalement, comme naguère, les discours partent vers le haut, où leur est prodigué tout ce qu'ils peuvent souhaiter de place.

Reste à savoir seulement qui les reçoit, et les perçoit, dans ces espaces infinis.

The virtuality, the expansiveness of the «grande aventure de l'esprit» that cyberspace represents for Camus («Entretien») is, he believes, better-suited than the book to the exhaustive and excavational text he had envisioned in his petite annonce, «un parcours [...] vers [le] coeur de lettres [des phrases] et le vide qui s'y ouvre en cavatine» (175).  Echoing lexia 456 of P.A., where he argues against respecting the traditional linearity of the book, he explains his frustration with it and imagines what could be the post-print posterity of the personal:

Au fond, mon problème a toujours été [...] une insatisfaction avec le caractère unidirectionnel du livre.  Je n'ai jamais désiré un livre qui commence à la première et finisse à la dernière page.  Prolonger un livre, ça n'a jamais été pour moi ajouter quelque chose à la fin mais le creuser en son milieu, en abyme: faire du surplace et creuser, cavare, en latin, d'où mon goût pour les cavatines en musique.

As we have seen, by not limiting his personal, by not defining himself merely with descriptors, Camus had hoped instead to show himself completely and thereby to seduce through being completely forthright.  He could neither be reduced to or by a craftily worded, coded, catchall title («Moustachu très poilu, yx bl., chev. crts, assez musclé, assez cultivé, affectueux, 176, 66, 49a ch. [....] » ) nor to or by a self-denigrating label («le Misanthrope de la petite société des gens de plume»).  Instead, his person lies, he believes, in the complexity, the interconnectedness of the lexia that are interdependent parts of his multi-faceted totality.  Not reducible to physical traits, measurements, or a mere physique, he has to be taken in context - with lexia neither beginnings nor ends, nor means to ends, but rather an end to a means, part of the extensive crossroads constituting his very being.  The virtual personal offers the possibility of the unrestricted seductiveness that the print-based personal could not.  Every word, every link plays a contextualized, essential part in the revolutionality, the boundlessness, the hypertextuality of the genre.  He explains:

N'importe quel mot est rendu à son statut essentiel de carrefour et peut produire une ouverture à l'infini. P.A. comptait 999 paragraphes.  Dans Vaisseaux brûlés, version hypertextuelle de P.A., le seul premierparagraphe de P.A., très court, « Ne lisez pas ce livre », s'est vu greffer deux cents paragraphes en arborescence qui à eux seuls pourraient faire un livre [....]

To read any word, any part of Camus' electronic personal will be to be conscious of the whole - a «genre éclaté » with a «postérité éclatée».

2) Limited in print

A second reason the print-based personal published as P.A. does not measure up is because it exposes Camus' failure to be true to the aesthetic of complete disclosure by which he had definined it. Despite his Herculean efforts to be thorough in print, to tell the whole truth about himself on the page, P.A. was censored.  The incomplete book as published thus also stages the breakdown of the very economy of inclusion the Camusian annonce was to exemplify.  Most strikingly, four paragraphs (lexia 514-16) calling into question the "collaborative" motives of the Jewish hosts of France Culture's afternoon «Panorama» program should have been printed at the physical heart of P.A.  But they were seen as antisemitic and thus removed from the body of the text by Camus' publisher, Paul Otchakovsky-Laurens.  The four sequential and identically worded warnings at the back of the book that the paragraphs in question have been removed by the publisher, «Paragraphe[s] retiré[s] à la demande de l'éditeur», and in the place of the "themes" («La parole juive prospère», « 'Panorama' de France Culture», «Entretien D. Jamet, A. Spire, R. Dadoun, G. Konopnicki», and «La mélancolie française ») [5] that the corresponding lexia may or may not have treated are furthermore equally disruptive in the book's «Répertoire».  Just as Camus' personal ultimately had no place, as he soon learned, between the covers of a traditional book, censorship has no place in a work touting its necessary, definitive totality.

Paradoxically, in Camus' well-meaning attempt better to situate in hypertext P.A. and the genre it ultimately rehearses by filling in the gaps and indefinitely extending it by digitalizing P.A. (and Vaisseaux brûlés), he has so far succeeded more in alienating himself than in seducing. L'affaire Camus, the scandal that has erupted on the literary scene in France over the publication of his 1994 journal, La Campagne de France, is evidence of the predicted failure of certain members of the reading public to take Camus to heart.  The same four passages originally exerpted from the 1994 journal, those pages «adaptées à quelques vérités nouvelles, à la forme nouvelle qu'a[vait] prise la vérité [....] creusées d'ajouts, de précisions supplémentaires, de scrupules mis en notes, de notes en bas de page, de parenthèses et d'incises » (350), the very paragraphs from P.A. removed by his publisher, but that Camus believed could just as seamlessly be part of his personal as his life could be part of the journal, and which dramatize his failure to measure up in the totalizing, self-contextualizing genre he had conceived, proved troublesome again when Camus' text was ultimately completed.  Preferring that his work not suffer the same fate as had P.A., and fully intending that his journal be published in toto, Camus had then approached the Éditions du Seuil to bring it to print.  But they subsequently also refused to publish the work with the passages in question.  Although the Éditions Fayard ultimately agreed to publish it, shortly after La Campagne de France appeared in print and no doubt prompted by the bad press the daring Parisian publishing house was getting for having done so, it had the work removed from booksellers' shelves.  The journal was ultimately republished in April 2000 in truncated form, minus the «passages incriminés».

In his published personal Camus had striven for transparency.  In the passages of his 1994 journal he had hoped perfectly to mirror his state of being, to sound out his opinions at the time in textual form.  Explaining his frustration that «Panorama» not be better balanced, he had, for example, written:

Il m'agace et m'attriste de voir et d'entendre cette expérience [française], cette culture et cette civilisation avoir pour principaux porte-parole et organes d'expression, dans de très nombreux cas, une majorité de juifs, Français de première ou de seconde génération bien souvent qui ne participent pas directement de cette expérience.

It seemed, however, that such brutally honest passages had no place in print no matter what the literary genre.  But defending his admissions, Camus insisted on their personal and larger context.  He had merely been unhappy at the time that on a radio program whose name by definition promised all-inclusiveness and balance («étude successive et complète») a certain segment of the population tended to use it as a soapbox:

Les passages incriminés reflètent mon humeur, les deux ou trois jours où je les ai écrits.  Je ne les renie en aucune façon, mais ils ne peuvent pas être lus comme s'ils faisaient partie d'une grande traité ou d'un pamphlet sur le journalisme en France.  Ils portent sur un sujet très étroit, une émission de France Culture que j'écoutais régulièrement à l'époque, quoiqu'il me soit arrivé, à deux ou trois reprises, de manifester de l'agacement parceque les journalistes, juifs en très grande proportion, avaient tendance, selon moi, à aborder thèmes juifs (souvent très intéressants eux-mêmes, là n'est pas la question), avec une fréquence exagérée.  Ma réaction aurait été lamême s'agissant de n'importe quel autre groupe. (Salles)

No matter whether Camus was right or wrong to have reacted in such a way and to have recorded such a reaction in writing, what we learn from the outrage his written admission has caused both in Europe and abroad [6] is that the primacy of context, the insistence on the written whole, the boundlessness and the unification that Camus' personal had set out originally to articulate, to enact - but which were so dramatically undermined by what came (and has come again) to be cut out - seem to have been misunderstood.  Transparency, openness, and honesty are all out of place; they do not fit well in a world all too used to reading in parts, still too dependent on the printed press and now outdated print technology perpetuating it (Landow 57) for its truths.  Having become something of a literary pariah, and, as a consequence, denied more and more the opportunity to respond to the savage criticism leveled against him in the pages of the French press, the virtuality of his website - originally intended better to seduce by extending his personal through indefinite annotation and association - has most recently served rather as one of the few remaining spaces open to Camus to defend himself.  He admits:  «Jene dispose pour publier les textes en défense que de mon site 'Vaisseaux brûlés', ». (Mangeot)  In such a way, the very texts in which Camus attempts to contextualize his labeling of the Jewish journalists of «Panorama» as collaborators themselves ironically "collaborate" (Landow 83) with and within the personal, blurring the distinction between what is "inside" and "outside" it.


     Some two decades ago, Theodor Nelson recognized that with hypertext there is no "Final Word", no "final version", no "last thought" (Literary Machines 2/61).  As we await the fallout from the "never-ending" (Baetens) affaire Camus to end and to permit the author once more to turn to the open-ended text that matters most, to turn from self-defense to seduction in the links already promised in the vast «Répertoire» of Vaisseaux brûlés, we might at least give him his voice back.  Let us allow Camus to do what he does best:  let him write, «revenir, reprendre, corriger, tâcher de mettre fin au malentendu, de réconcilier les mots avec leur étymologie, les phrases avec leurs lecteurs, les écrivains avec les critiques» (67-70), «brûler ses vaisseaux» («Sans bêtise»).  At the end of what was one of the few "published" responses to his critics, Camus' reaction in the Swiss newspaper, Le Temps, to an article that had misled the French speaking public to believe that his sudden disappearance from the pages of the press was evidence that he had chosen to be silent («Les Éditions Fayard et l'écrivain lui-même se taisent»), he brings things full-circle, from alienation to seduction.  In setting us apart, he claims, our origins - whether ethnic, intellectual, or linguistic - are what make us unique and likeable:

      J'ajouterai que l'origine pour moi, toute origine sans exception, est toujours une raison d'aimer.  Si un monde désoriginé m'inspire peu d'envie, c'est parce que l'origine est à mes yeux l'une des plus précieuses saveurs des êtres, et des pensées, et des phrases, dont j'aime qu'elles charrient un peu de leur terre, et de leurs ciels, et de leur histoire.  J'ai peu de goût pour la pensée abstraite.  Je n'y crois pas.  Que l'origine des êtres et des idées soit perceptible, c'est un motif pour les aimer davantage, jamais pour les aimer moins. (« Article »)

In spite of the difficulties Camus initially had finding a fitting form for his personal, the virtual "perceptibility" of his own being and ideas gives us now even more reason to be seduced - and possibly inspired - by him.  Put back in context, finger-pointing, name-calling, and labeling aside, the continuous and conspicuous text/s constituting the Camusian personal, «[l]'essence du discours» (178), reveal much more than foolhardy bridge-burning ever could.  Personal lexia are the tools, materials for bridge building.  They offer the promise, if not the promises of myriad ties that bind.


1. See «Préface à 'Tricks' de Renaud Camus», oeuvres complètes (1974-1980), ed. Éric Marty, vol. 3.  (Paris: Seuil, 1994) 1017-1020;  «Roland Barthes interroge Renaud Camus», oeuvres complètes (1974-1980), ed. Éric Marty, vol. 3.  (Paris: Seuil, 1994) 360-3.

2. In lexia 88, he writes:  « Si ce livre ne s'appelait pas P.A., il aurait pu s'intituler Vaisseaux brûlés. »  In lexia 149, he writes: « [...] (j'espère qu'un jour on publiera, de ce livre-ci, une édition avec notes) [....] ».  Similarly, in lexia 424, he writes:  « Il faudrait publier un jour une édition illustrée de ce livre, qu'on sache un peu de quoi on parle.»  And in lexia 933, he writes:  «S'il y avait à ce livre une continuation, ce ne serait pas en un autre volume, mais en une version nouvelle, épaissie, de celui-ci.  Il me semble qu'il n'est rien que je puisse un jour désirer d'écrire, et qui ne saurait trouver sa place entre les plis de cette Annonce. »

3. According to Camus, these are not titles but descriptions:  «Les désignations respectives des paragraphes sont des points de repère et en aucune façon des titres: les "thèmes" qu'elles peuvent suggérer ne sont traités qu'incidemment, ou pas du tout.»  <>

4. Quotes from Camus' book included in this article will include the «approximatif petit jeu fléché de renvois, de compléments et de contradictions (<-->) signalées» (77).

5. We know this from Vaisseaux brûlés. <>

6. See « Documents relatifs à la controverse autour de La Campagne de France (avril-mai-juin-juillet-août 2000) », <>.

Works Cited

Baetens, Jan.  «Interminable affaire Camus».  <>.

Barthes, Roland.  « Mes petites annonces ».  oeuvres complètes (1974-1980).  Vol. 3.  Ed. Éric Marty.  Paris:  Seuil, 1994.  1092-3.

Camus, Renaud.  « Article envoyé au journal Le Temps, de Genève ».  <>.

_______.  P.A.  Paris:  P.O.L., 1997.

_______.  Vaisseaux brûlés.  <>.

Furman, Nelly.  "French Studies:  Back to the Future." Profession 1998.  New York:  The Modern Language Association of America, 1998.

Harris, Daniel.  The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture.  New York:  Hyperion, 1997.

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