Pierre Bayard
Comment parler des livres que n'on la pas lus.
Editions de Minuit, 198 pages, € 15

One of the great intellectual enterprises of the last century has been the destruction of boundaries. It is as if the triumphant bourgeoisie—from which, of course, the vast majority of intellectuals emerged—grew tired of the restraints that they had imposed upon themselves as the bourgeois virtues, and sought a justification for throwing them over in both metaphysics and the very structure of the universe. Thus the marginal became central, and the central marginal. Everything became fluid, nothing remained categorical, at least in theory: though bank accounts, for example, remained as categorical as ever.

In Comment parler des livres que l’on n’a pas lus, Pierre Bayard, a distinguished French critic, has found a new boundary to dissolve: the difference between having and not ...