Michel Butor

Michel Butor

French writer
Date of Birth: 14.09.1926
Country: France

Biography of Michel Butor

Michel Butor, a French writer, is considered the most widely read author of the "new novel" movement, which gained attention in the 1950s for its open disregard for the techniques of traditional writing. Born on September 14, 1926, in Lille, Butor spent his childhood in Paris.

After completing his studies at Sorbonne, Butor wrote his dissertation, "Mathematics and the Concept of Necessity," under the guidance of philosopher G. Bachelard (1884-1962) and obtained a master's degree in philosophy. He then turned to teaching, leaving France for the first time. His experiences as a teacher in Egypt were documented in the novel "Le Génie du lieu" (The Genius of the Place, 1958) and served as the backdrop for his novel "Passage de Milan" (1954).

While Butor is considered the most widely read author of the "new novel" movement, which openly disregarded the techniques of traditional writing in the 1950s, he rejected the novel in the 1960s in favor of a more expansive literary form that he believed would break the boundaries of genre.

All of Butor's books demonstrate his desire to expand the space in terms of geography and text, vision and inhabitation of the world, and the depiction of this vision and inhabitation. "L'Emploi du temps" (The Time Being, 1956) is a "layered" novel that presents archaeological notes of a young Frenchman's life in an English town. "La Modification" (Second Thoughts, 1957) explores the traditional theme of adultery in the context of a train journey from Paris to Rome, where the protagonist's mistress resides. "Degrés" (Degrees, 1960) attempts to recount the history of the discovery of America in a geography lesson, requiring the accumulation of all human knowledge.

Butor continues his mission as a literary pioneer in works such as "O : Génie du lieu 2" (Where: The Genius of the Place 2, 1971) and "Boomerang: Génie du lieu 3" (Boomerang: The Genius of the Place 3, 1978).