Vernon Subutex Two, Paperback by Despentes, Virginie; Wynne, Frank (TRN), ISBN , ISBN The hunt for Virginie Despentes’. Find great deals for Bye Bye Blondie by Virginie Despentes (, Paperback). on the streets, Gloria runs into TV star Eric, who happens to be an old flame. the passing to a new generation of the literary flame—albeit, in this instance, Virginie Despentes, Christine Angot and Maurice Dantec and it was not long.

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Three things were made to fit in the palm of your hand: For a long time, whenever I opened a book by Virginie Despentes, I would feel that instead of me reading it, it was reading me. I would squirm under its gaze and soon close it. I smiled weakly whenever she was mentioned.

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I was ashamed; I worried my discomfort despenes I was not as radical a feminist as I fancied myself. Despentes is a legend in France, especially among young women. Much of this reputation rests on her first novel, Baise-moia taboo-shattering book about a pair of young women, Nadine and Manu, who go on a despentex spree across France. One has worked as a prostitute, the other as a porn actress; in between murders, they have graphically described sex in hotel rooms with a series of men. Her personality is composed of … a series of cultural references that she wears the way she does her accessories: She keeps up her personality like her bikini line, because she knows she has to pull out all the stops to get a guy to fall for her.

With the ultimate goal being: I read that and felt uncomfortably seen; this is more or less the girl I was encouraged to be by the middle-class suburban milieu that produced me. I spent my teens and early twenties trying so hard to be pretty, bland, and pleasing to men.

I played the dating game as if the men had all the power and I had none. Even as I went through my feminist awakening and began to actively fight the vision of femininity instilled in me, I virglnie that unconsciously, I was still that girl, the one whose instinct is always for pretty. There was an anger and a sarcasm in the writing that I turned away from. I felt too much empathy for this girl to mock her.


The book reads as if Despentes had a personal score to settle with some phantom woman offstage. I thought of them as Michelle Houllebecquettes. In the past few years, everyone here in Paris has been reading Despentes again. The central issues of King Kong Theory are who gets to tell the story and under what terms.

Of who I am as a writer, and as a woman who is no longer quite a woman.

It is both that which disfigures me and that which makes me. I saw how deeply wrong I had been to write her off. There is no line to be drawn between the girls who shave their head and the ones who wear their hair in mermaid waves, trying to be pretty. We are all equally grotesque. The idea is to reclaim that grotesquerie.

It is trashy, crude, and incredibly violent, very much a book of the early nineties and the nascent grunge movement.

It grabs the reader by the collar, flings him, her, us, in a chair, places a spike-heeled stiletto somewhere tender, and slowly applies pressure.

Virginie Despentes – Wikipedia

Word got out about it thanks to the proof she sent around to her friends in the punk world, and before the book was even published, there were fifty thousand preorders and ten translation deals in place. The culture will tolerate certain things from young women but not others.

Who the fuck cares about being liked? People with something to lose. Women teaching women to sit politely, legs crossed at the ankle. They strive for a kind of purity in their killings; it is important that the people they kill have nothing to do with anything else. But Baise-moi is not a nihilist novel. The violence is a bid for freedom, a perverted display of idealism.

As the critic Parul Sehgal writes: We are so unused to women being the agents of violence that it surprises us when we encounter it, in news stories, in film, in fiction. And they made the reference over vriginie over and over.


The association of violence, really good sex, and badassery? This is part of the charm of Baise-moi the film: And so is the way that femininity takes shape around that, offering pleasure and passivity.

This ends up feeling somewhat airless as a worldview; it still leaves us with men as agents and women as reactors. The carpet in one hotel is a bright raspberry, making Nadine feel like she lives in a cartoon. Everything is artificial, hyped up, on a sugar high: After that, the film becomes much more like a cartoon, a comic strip. It shares with Baise-moi an urgent, sketched-out feeling Despentes says she wrote the novel coked up, over three or four days that does nothing to diminish its potency.

Pauline and Claudine are twin sisters and opposites: Pauline is the brainy one, who trained as a singer at the conservatory; Claudine the pretty one, who knows how to get what she wants by pleasing men.

Early on in the novel, Claudine commits a theatrical suicide. If King Kong Theory is a flpame for our times, made even more urgent by the rise of the MeToo movement, Pretty Things is as well, virginke aim at the workings that contribute to the situation in which MeToo becomes necessary.

For the Ugly Ones: The Spiky Feminist Anger of Virginie Despentes

And it shows our complicity, male and female, individual and corporate, in keeping the sham of femininity alive. Over the virgine of the novel, we see Pauline transform from a grungy, rebellious figure, draped in shapeless clothing, who refuses to shave her legs to a high femme in her high heels, waxed within an inch of her life.

Pauline in drag as Claudine brings out the worst in people, even in Pauline herself.

They determine the fad, page after page: This is perhaps a nonviolent way out of the double bind of Baise-moi: Despentes continues to inspire controversy with her work. She lives in Paris.