Pacific Wall by Jean-François Lyotard
Lyotard's only novel - if it is one. Mixing voices and genres, flaunting the fiction at the heart of the fact, this is a dry, violent, highly sexualized recital of power, economies, and paranoia - set at a university on the sands of a warm California beach. Here, academic propriety, feminine flesh, and male castration play out their quasi-theoretical dramatizations. A curious notebook is discovered in a library in California, but no one knows the author, nor can they even make out his name - is it Noushog or Fuckeg or Vachez? Anyway, he called himself a non-resident alien, stumbling around Southern California, trying to piece together what he saw and heard about sex, history, hearsay, and L.A. - the place where America ends. Nasty language and proper academic deliberations combine in several voices to describe the labyrinth of U.S. power and debilitation, race, and authority, art and life. Pacific Wall is truly the paragon of the hybrid text. Illustrated format, with a four-page fold-out of a tableau by artist Ed Kienholz, a central motif in the story. A colorized California nude swims behind a yellow glassine jacket. A dazzling book.
Published by The Lapis Press, Venice, California, 1989, 60 pages, 10 1/4 in. x 7 1/2 in.