by Leslie Kaplan, translated by Jennifer Pap
In this brilliant and hilarious political novella, Leslie Kaplan imagines a series of unconnected crimes occurring throughout France. In each, a subordinate kills someone in a superior position over them--typically with an object used in their work, be it wiring in an auto shop, a huge sack of coffee, or a blackboard eraser. While these acts (no explanation is ever given by the criminals) clearly have a class-related character, the media and public figures are loathe to admit that class struggle still exists. Their denial of reality creates another thread in this joyful, dark satire: the fumbling of "experts" who mobilize theory after theory in order to analyze what is happening without admitting that the events could have any political content.
"With a cold humor and serial neutrality worthy of the Marquis de Sade, Leslie Kaplan recounts incidents of sudden and 'inexplicable' violence that take place one spring, all over France. This fable about the movement of the yellow vests perfectly and artfully captures the mystery of any movement's essential ingredient: each discrete and individual act of rage." --Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room and The Flamethrowers
"In Disorder, a decapitating political fable, Leslie Kaplan invents the "class crime"... Putting words to everyday situations of domination, [she] inscribes a joyfully emancipatory text, a pathway to the literary act that suggests that another world is possible." -- L'Humanité
"An unexplained movement, assassinations without a plan, and this cry: "Stop the bullshit!"... In Disorder, a short, exhilarating story, novelist Leslie Kaplan tells the fable of today's uprisings. Where, without ever saying it directly, laughter wears the color yellow." --Médiapart
"Without consulting each other, without obeying any call-to-arms, in all regions, people become criminals: they shamelessly get rid of their immediate superiors ... Disorder is a fable. Far from being a call to murder, as you might think, it is about cheerfully shaking off the yoke." -- Libération
About the Contributors:
Leslie Kaplan was born in Brooklyn, New York, but raised and educated in France. Winner of the Prix Wepler 2012 for her novel Millefeuille, she is the author of twenty titles with P.O.L and five with Gallimard: plays, novels, and books of poetry. Translations of her work exist in Spanish, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Romanian, Turkish, Portuguese, Greek, Polish and English.
Jennifer Pap, associate professor of French at the University of Denver, centers her research around 20th and 21st century French poets such as Guillaume Apollinaire, René Char, Francis Ponge, Dominique Fourcade, and Leslie Kaplan. Many of her projects examine the relation of poetry with the visual arts and the struggle of both art forms to represent historical violence since World War I. She previously co-translated Leslie Kaplan's Excess--The Factory (Commune Editions 2018)