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At the City Hall in a small town in the South of France, one man starts his campaign to correct the ills that have overtaken his proud nation by lecuring the town's inhabitants on the art of conversation. In the narrator's opinion, "coversation is a specialty that is most eminently French," an art that should be nurtured and practiced, and can help repair France's reputation. Not to mention being a good conversationalist is extremely useful for seducing women, which is how the narrator managed to attract Lucienne, his "superbly lumpish" wife who died two months before giving this lecture. One of the oddest characters in contemporary fiction, the lecturer in this novel can't help but digress about his sad life in the midst of his speech, giving the reader a view of a self-centered man trying to turn one of his greatest faults into a virtue to be forced on everyone else. By turns ironic, hilarious, pathetic, and mortifying, Salvayre's The Lecture is an exuberant example of the exciting fiction being written in France.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781564783516
ISBN-10: 1564783510
Format: Paperback
(175mm x 132mm x 11mm)
Pages: 135
Imprint: Dalkey Archive Press
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2005
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Lydie Salvayre

Lydie Salvayre is a French writer. Born in the south of France to Republican refugees from the Spanish Civil War, she went on to study medicine in Toulouse and continues to work as a practicing psychiatrist.

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