Monday, August 22, 2011

Carolyn Kuebler | Review of Liliane Giraudon's Fur

Review of Liliane Giraudon's Fur
by Carolyn Kuebler

Fur, Liliane Giraudon. Fur (Paris: Éditions P.O.L, 1992). Translated from the French by Guy Bennett. (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1995).

A dimly-lit torture chamber, a showcase displaying genitalia and other organs, a laboratory reeking of rotting flesh, a child's room strewn with stuffed animals—such are the settings for Fur, a collection of thirteen tales by French author Lilianne Giraudon. In a style admirable both for what it reveals and what it fails to reveal, Giraudon continues her exploration in this book of the frequently cruel and ambiguous dynamics of interpersonal relationships.

Moving through an indeterminate atmosphere reminiscent of Beckett, marginalized characters are mysterious drawn to one another or brutally torn apart for reasons they cannot understand or which they complete ignore. For Giraudon gives no explanation, forcing us to draw our own conclusions and leaving us with a feeling of puzzlement and wonder.

"Grotesque and alluring, Liliane Giraudon's stories explore the regions of the mind that are dark and forbidden. Through her characters, each of them plagued by a fateful love affair or obsession, she crosses into the taboos of bestiality and incest, playing with her readers' expectations and assumptions. Yet within these sometimes sordid tales lies a fascinating appeal, a beautifully enigmatic use of language that evokes latent desires and arouses a tenacious curiosity." —Carolyn Kuebler, The Review of Contemporary Fiction).

Copyright (c)1995 by Carolyn Kuebler

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