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Fragmented Territories: AIDS and Paris in Les Nuits Fauves of

Cyril Collard
Lawrence R. Schehr
French Forum, Volume 34, Number 1, Winter 2009, pp. 53-65 (Article)

Published by University of Nebraska Press


DOI: 10.1353/frf.0.0073

For additional information about this article


http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/frf/summary/v034/34.1.schehr.html

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Lawrence R. Schehr

Fragmented Territories
AIDS and Paris in Les Nuits Fauves of Cyril Collard

Written at the height of the AIDS crisis, Cyril Collards novel Les
Nuits fauves (1989) is a singular approach to mapping AIDS on the
body and in the city of Paris. Collard uses Paris and the ailing body
as interchangeable metonyms for one another, in a style that renews
classic nineteenth-century narratives use of the mapping of geographic space as a figure of the protagonists success or failure. Thus,
in Le Pre Goriot, to choose the most famous example, Balzac sets
out three separate neighborhoodsthe Latin Quarter, the Faubourg
St. Honor, and the Faubourg St. Germainthe understanding and
ultimate conquest of which are signs of Eugne de Rastignacs eventual success. And, when at Goriots funeral, Rastignac launches his
challenge to Paris, it is as if he can see all of Paris from the vantage
point of the elevated Pre Lachaise cemetery.1 Similarly, in Bel-Ami,
Maupassant traces a finely hewn itinerary for Georges Duroy, whose
success can once again be gauged by where he is in Paris.2 In both
cases, the authors tie a semiotics of socio-cultural and socio-political
values to a geography, by which the informed reader can follow plot
development with the aid of his or her knowledge of the city, and can
chart the vagaries, peripetiaie, and trajectories informing the development of AIDS as well.3
If an author like Proust winds up having a more limited Parisian
geography (largely restricted to the eighth, sixteenth, and seventeenth
arrondissements) and if Queneaus Paris in Zazie dans le mtro goes
somewhat awry because of the unreliable geographical knowledge of
his characters, we still find a number of more recent novels and films
using Parisa new Paris, a reinscribed Paris of the post-modern
as a semiotic touchstone. For example, Matthieu Kassovitzs epoch-

54 / French Forum / Winter 2009 / Vol. 34, No. 1

making film La Haine, used Paris (and its implicit and explicit opposition to the banlieue) as a geographic metaphor for underlining some
of the serious social problems facing France. And films like Jeunets
Le Fabuleux Destin dAmlie Poulin and the more recent multi-authored film, Paris, je taime, use both stereotypical touristic Paris and
more typically Parisian Paris (i.e., a Paris recognizable to locals,
even without the seemingly obligatory shot of the Eiffel Tower) to
reinscribe the relations of characters and city, of characters within the
city, and of the structuring of subjectivity by the city. Moreover, an
experimental filmmaker like Lionel Soukaz often uses the space in a
way to show how gay Paris reinscribes straight Paris, even when,
as is the case of Soukaz (and that of Guy Hocquenghem) the act is
somewhat disruptive and anti-institutional. In all these recent cases,
Paris and protagonists rework a semiotics of space.4
Thus it comes as no surprise that an author and director such as
Cyril Collard uses Parisian geography as a figure for understanding
the traversal of the AIDS crisis by his autofictional counterpart. And
specifically, there is an association of geography, gay liberation, illness, and mourning that are all tied together in what might, retrospectively, from the point of view of the twenty-first century, seem to be
typical of the period, yet counterproductive for a complete historical
understanding of the lived past. However, now that we are in the second decade of combination therapy, it behooves critics to tease out the
various strands of discoursespersonal, traumatic, public, liberatory,
and even literarythat were bundled during the first decade and a
half of the AIDS crisis, in order to see the construction (and deconstruction) of these discourses through a historical and cultural perspective. And to do that, I am suggesting that an analysis of a personal
and public geography is in order.5
As we think about the social construction into which male same-sex
desire has fit, however comfortably or not, since the early nineteenth
century, if not before, namely what we consider to be homosexuality,
it is invariably associated with city life. As can be seen in numerous
studies of gay city scenes, in the earlier part of this era, cities such as
Paris, London, and New York furnished gay men what they needed to
form their own associations, to have their own underground institutions, and to have the much needed anonymity, far from the prodding
eyes of heteronormative society and family, that was necessary to the

Schehr: Fragmented Territories / 55

formation of a gay identity, closeted or not, in the nineteenth century


(Chauncey; Hocquenghem; Houlbrook; Martel; Robb). Archetypal
figures of Baudelairean flneurs, some gay men were able to participate and flourish in a somewhat hidden, somewhat visible, rhizomatic subculture in cities that was not available elsewhere. Indeed, this
is not just a phenomenon of the nineteenth century or even the early
twentieth century, and a whole host of popular gay novels of the last
two decades take as their itinerary the movement from provinces to
Paris, installation and participation in Paris gay life, and everything
that follows.6 Beyond that, while metonymies of the city exist, be they
Ibiza, Brighton, Provincetown, or Mykonos, or even college towns,
these are all figures of the city, and the discourses of male same-sex
desire remain firmly anchored in the urban. As many spectators saw
with Brokeback Mountain, absent the city, its discourse, and its cultures, there is often more silence than discourse.
If we consider the last forty years, we notice that the initial effects of
the gay liberation movement were to make an underground subculture
more visible, often with a change in venuein New York, Chelsea replaced Greenwich Village, and the Rue Sainte-Anne was replaced by
the Marais in Paris. Simultaneously, as Guy Hocquenghem and Lionel
Soukaz have shown, the increasing visibility of institutions of samesex desire had the effect of queering the city space. Manifestations of
same-sex desire were no longer confined to one neighborhood, but
spread out through the cityscape. In some cases, they made certain
covert uses of public spaces obvious, as two cultures and usesgay
and straightlived side by side or used the spaces at different times
of the day. Yet there was an important turn in the eighties that brings
me to Collards work, and that turn was a result of the AIDS epidemic. No longer was the multiple use of space simply that, but the additional elements of mourning and death were the not-so-silent specters
accompanying that multiplicity.
Collards novel or autofiction first appeared in 1989, at what was
arguably the height of the AIDS epidemic, and he himself turned it
into a film in 1992, with great success, in which he starred and which
he directed. Favorably received, the film would go on to receive the
Csar (Frances equivalent of the Oscar) in 1993 for best film, awarded posthumously to Collard, who had died on 5 March 1993 of complications from AIDS a few days before the awards. At first sight,

56 / French Forum / Winter 2009 / Vol. 34, No. 1

Collards Paris might not seem to be remarkable. In fact, late in the


story, he says of Paris: [C]est la seule ville que je connaisse o je ne
sais pas lever les yeux vers ce qui mentoure. Je voudrais voir mieux,
tre mu; mon regard est horizontal ou dirig vers le sol, peine impressionn par le gris des trottoirs.7 But that demurral is countered
throughout the story that uses Paris as an instrument, a meeting place,
a record, and a re-marking, not only of the institutions of same-sex
desire, indeed, minimally that, but also, and more importantly, of the
accompaniment of Collard, with full-blown AIDS, by his own impending death and by the future that is the mourning that will ensue.
From the very first presentation of the Parisian cityscape, which is a
reference to the very tony and chic street, rue de la Pompe in Passy (in
the sixteenth arrondissement), we seem to feel that we have entered a
view of Paris that does not follow the standard coding, not only because it is a business scene set in a rich neighborhood, but also because
the author stresses disorder and confusion. It is a Paris in the process
of falling and becoming more entropic, disordered and chaotic; it is a
Paris becoming less solid, in which there is a white stream of exhaust
fumes [la traine blanche de ses gaz dchappement] from a motorcycle that add to the citys pollution [ la pollution de la ville] (5).
Thus from the very first, the author disengages our received knowledge about Paris, since the Parisian specificity of this book as a lived,
as opposed to spectacular or touristic, Paris would by and large not be
as well-understood extra muros.8 Consider the usual visions of Paris
for those beyond its borders: images of touristy Paris with a requisite
shot of the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame or boththe cartoon feature
film Ratatouille underlines this. And as films like Paris, je taime and
Le Fabuleux Destin dAmlie Poulin show, images of outdoor cafes,
the Luxembourg Gardens, a typical market street, or even post-Haussmann-era apartment buildings, with their balconies on the second and
fifth floors, connote a kind of almost atemporal, and certainly geographic, Parisian continuity. Collard relies on our non-touristic, insider knowledge of Paris to deconstruct the once stable semiotics of
the city; meaning is now scattered, at least symbolically, for those infected with HIV and especially for those living with and dying from
AIDS. Thus does he fragment the city; indeed, Gabara underlines the
fragmentation through HIV and AIDS and calls the book his autobiographical novel of fragmented identity (83). For example, Collard

Schehr: Fragmented Territories / 57

passes directly from the scene in Passy to an image of an Arab man at


Stalingrad (tenth and nineteenth) with his hand posed on his crotch,
and from there directly to La Chapelle, Belleville, and Mnilmontant
(910).9 In other words, we have crossed much of the Right Bank of
the city without any of it being there, be it known monuments and
sights, or unknown, but typical ones, such as the domes mentioned
in the first chapter of Queneaus Zazie dans le mtro. Collard moves
us from one of the wealthiest neighborhoods of the city to several of
the poorest, as if to set the stage for the epi(demi)c of AIDS that can
attack anyone, whether he or she lives in the sixteenth or the twentieth arrondissement, and to show, as a measure of a personal odyssey, the gradual impoverishment of the individual stricken with AIDS.
And beyond that, these are immigrant neighborhoods, as opposed to
neighborhoods that are franco-franais; in situating his text at that
geographic location, Collard is underlining, as was done early in the
crisis, the other (sub-Saharan) origin of the virus. And while there
is no possible reading of the novel dependent on xenophobia, the possibility thereof necessarily has to be evoked, precisely because it was
part of the bundling of discourses, already mentioned, and the traces
originary to that bundling necessarily remain as a trace or diffrance.
AIDS is there, personified as death and metonymized in the anonymous sex scenes in a vague colonnade, a gallery by the Seine in what
was then the warehouse district of the thirteenth arrondissement. That
neighborhood now, of course, has been regentrified to a great extent,
based on its redevelopment after the construction of the Bibliothque
Nationale de France. AIDS looms large as Collard alternates between
retrospective glances at encounters of various sorts, and there is a give
and take or a coming and going between various venues, such as cinema at the Place de Clichy in the eighteenth, and testing for AIDS
at the Hpital Necker in the fifteenth arrondissement. Once again,
Collard does not link the parts of the city in a way comfortable for
readers, but creates a kind of rhizomatic or subterranean network, a
ghostly parallel toor sosie ofthe metro that wends its way under
the city. Here however, it is the transmission of the possibility of illness and eventual death at every correspondance, or, better yet, every
transfer. While Herv Guibert likened his dealing with AIDS in his
body to trying to escape from the monster in a Pac-man game, here,
Collard seems to be using Queneaus ironic conceitironic, because

58 / French Forum / Winter 2009 / Vol. 34, No. 1

the metro is there in name onlyas invisible metaphorvehiclefor


the virus.10
Collard crisscrosses the city: in the space of fewer than three pages
(2224), we are in Levallois (Hauts-de-Seine), Les Halles (first arrondissement), and the Gare du Nord (tenth), and in one half page we
move from the Champs-Elyses (eighth), which is virtually the only
tourist site mentioned in the book, to the Place Blanche (ninth and
eighteenth). Now arguably, the Place Blanche is perhaps a metonym
for the Moulin Rouge, which is, in fact, a tourist site located on the
north side of the square, and thus in the eighteenth. The city is so fractured by its subjectivation to the once and future fragmented body of
the AIDS-stricken protagonist that Collard inaccurately states that he
brought ric back to Montmartre, but he drops him on the south side
of the square, which is not in fact, in Montmartre, as it is in the ninth;
indeed that side of the Place Blanche is the demarcation of the northern limit of the neighborhood known as La Nouvelle Athnes, a
consecrated nineteenth-century literary space and not at all a touristic
one.11 And this geographic syncope soon inverts into an interplay between the protagonists body and a reflection of that penetrated body
with transferred viruses into the cityscape:
[. . .] la ville douche de pluies orange et traverse de lignes mtalliques brises,
la souffrance me rappelait que jtais vivant; la salet recherche, colle, poissant
ma peau mindiquait une douleur prfrable ltale. Mon corps prouv restait
cartel sur le bton du quai. Moi, chancr corps et me. (27)

Tessellated, variegated, and pulverized, the fragmented city and body


interplay with one another, as each reflects the other; Collards body
is the inscription of the events, primarily sexual in nature, that have
happened in the city, just as the city is the reminder of the bodies of
Collard and other gay men in the same situation as the one in which he
finds himself. At the same time, given the nature of AIDS, the disorder
and fragmentation of the representation of the city are also a mirror of
the aleatory nature of the opportunistic infections that strike an AIDS
patient, the order in which those opportunistic infections arise; the
fragmentation can even be seen as a metonym of the anxiety that such
a disorder and unpredictability engendered by what was often, at best,
a best-hunch prognosis that was often wrong.
The introduction of the wild side of the title, with the adjective

Schehr: Fragmented Territories / 59

here used as a noun, adds to the collectivity and to the fragmentation


of bodies and the evocation of body parts:
Je ne pensais pas aux grand fauves, hauts sur pattes; mes fauves sont petits, solides, muscls, appuys contre un mur, une jambe replie, le pied plat contre le
beton, la tte un peu tourne, lgrement baisse, fixe, le regard vers le haut. (34)

Everything is slightly out of line or out of kilter; nothing is where it


should be if this were a universe where all were well with the world.
And if these male prostitutesfor that is the caseillustrate a specific
French expression for prostitution, i.e., faire le pied de grue, they
are also pointing the way to perdition. This is a game of shadows (35)
that is nothing less than multiple descents into hell [descentes aux
enfers]. And if this trip to hell does have a return, symbolized by a trip
out of Paris to Mexico and return to Paris, it is not clear whether or
not this will always be the case. Indeed, the return to Paris brings him,
not coincidentally, to a new Paris, a different Paris, a Paris marked
by change, albeit here, an aesthetic scourge. For he winds up at the
Colonnes de Buren, which were erected in 1986 in the inner courtyard
[Cour dhonneur] of the Palais Royal (first [48]), and were seen by
many as having disfigured the latter. Indeed, they were, for some, a
sign of contemporary cultural decadence, opposed to the classical
tradition of great French culture, for which the synecdoche here is
undoubtedly Molire, whose theatrical troupe took up residence in
that building. Yet if we think about it, that disfigurement and that
decadence, already foreshadowed in the anatomization of body parts
and their pluralization in the game of shadows, becomes the visual
equivalent of the AIDS-riddled body: the decadenceetymologically,
the falling awayis the wasting away of the infected body and the
disfigurement by Kaposis sarcoma, which is the surest visible sign of
an individual having passed from HIV infection to full-blown AIDS.12
And this process occurs in two ways. First, the novel foreshadows
the infection and its symptoms, especially Kaposi, by marking the
city as the locus of that infection and its playing out. Thus does the
disfigurement of Paris occur some thirty pages before the discovery
of Collards own Kaposi, a mauvaise augure, if ever there were one.
Second, throughout much of the first part of the book, he spends far
more time on various parts of the Right Bank and relatively little time

60 / French Forum / Winter 2009 / Vol. 34, No. 1

on the Left, with the notable exception of visits to various hospitals:


Necker, already mentioned, and Tarnier (sixth), where the Kaposis
is discovered, as it is has a well-known center of dermatology. He
mentions merely in passing that he lives in a studio in the fifteenth
(36). So the Left Bank becomes a kind of dystopic locus, not the
classic Left Bank of intellectuals and existentialists, of the Sorbonne
and Sartre, or of Les Deux Magots and Le Flore, but rather the locus
of infections, symptoms, illnesses, and treatments. The is a far cry
from the hortus inclusus to which Collard seems to turn in the last
few pages of the work; these pages are set, not coincidentally, in
Portugal, the westernmost point of Europe, a flight to which might
signal the beginning of a trans-Atlantic Odyssey, but also might be yet
another topographical dispersal into a beyond, into an older version of
the Lacanian Real. In any case, the Left Bank in Les Nuits fauves is
a hothouse, a percolator, and a breeding ground, as well as being
the most unsafe spot imaginable in a potentially HIV+ cartography of
the city.
After the diagnosis of Kaposi, however, the urban geography or
subjective cartography of Paris changes. Here and there, there are certainly other mentions of areas of the Left Bank, but they are quite
often simply business or entertainment streets mentioned in passing:
La Motte Picquet (fifteenth [84]) is where the protagonist dines with
Laura, and he has a coffee on the Avenue des Gobelins (thirteenth
[73]). But quickly, this locus that is the breeding ground and dramatization of AIDS starts to loom larger and larger, as if it were a prison from which he could not escape. So he sees a couple fighting on
Avenue Ren Coty (fourteenth), and, in the thirteenth arrondissement,
the Place dItalie and the Boulevard Vincent Auriol, locus of the aforementioned warehouses that were gathering places for anonymous gay
sex, start to seem inevitable. The control of the first part of the book is
replaced by violence, by anonymity, and by the inevitability of anonymous sex, which is also, need it be said, often a high-risk activity, not
only because HIV- individuals might be infected by HIV+ individuals, but also because HIV+ individuals, with their weakened immune
systems, can be infected with a second strain of the virus and/or another opportunistic infection.
A bit less than halfway through the autofiction, the cartography
takes another turn:

Schehr: Fragmented Territories / 61


Je visite un appartement dans le vingtime arrondissement en haut de la colline de
Mnilmontant. Jaime ces noms, Belleville, place des Ftes, Crime, Jaurs. Cest
exactement loppos de lendroit o jhabite. (105106)

I would argue that this transfer of the AIDS-ridden body to the Right
Bank is an extension of the domain of the syndrome, and readers are
not surprised to find the first direct mention of institutions of same-sex
desire on the right bank a few pages later, with a visit to the rue SainteAnne characterized as a pilgrimage (117). In essence, this pilgrimage
of sorts is a return to a more innocent past, a time before AIDS, when
Pariss gay neighborhood had the rue Sainte-Anne as its center;
this was a time before the Marais became the gay neighborhood.
But just like the disfigurement of the city a few blocks away by the
Colonnes de Buren, the rue Sainte-Anne (first and second) has moved
from its pre-AIDS innocence to being a locus in which young Arab
men act as (gay) gigolos: sex for money, exchange, once again, if not
to say transfer. Collards nostalgia is ironic, of course, as it is a hope
for something that can never again be: a world without/before AIDS,
a world of utopian and pure sexual liberation as figured by the various
movements that arose in the wake of the events of May, 1968.
Paris starts to become invisible, like the actual virus itself (as opposed to its effects), with a reduced physical presence, as if the entirety of the city were more and more the backdrop for the playing out of
a personal drama, there as an ever-changing backdrop for the protagonist alone. So, instead of focusing on the visible, the text significantly enters an aural phase, as Paris becomes the sum of its messages:
Aprs une nuit de drogue, les messages tlphoniques sont une autre
drogue: les mots survolant la ville dun arrondissement lautre, les
tonalits stridentes des fins de messages, les menaces (145). Able to
fly anywhere, the words are a witnessing of the spread of rhizomatic
networks of all sorts. There is no possibility for nice Cartesian lines
here: the wires crisscross each other as they fill the space and air of
the city with transfers of information. The messages, activities, and
infections are all plural, as are the absences noted by writers as disparate as Marcel Proust and Avital Ronell, as these multiplicities repeat
and reinscribe and as they move from the eleventh into the first arrondissement: Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Bastille, rue de Rivoli, nous
ne parlons pas, nous sommes anantis; trop de mots, la ville, la neige,

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les mmes gestes toujours recommencs (152). Whereas the book


started out with singularity and then continued with fragmentation,
it is now multiply resolidifying. The future will be the repetition of
the past, and it will be inevitable. As the characters return to the geographic center, they remark, fons et origo, their capture in the urban
jungle from which they will escape only by death.
It is at this point that the work returns to the neighborhood in which
it began, the sixteenth arrondissement, with mentions of the Place de
lAlma (161) and the rue de Longchamp (163). This full return is dialectical or spiral in nature: whereas on the first page of the book the
protagonist did not know that he was sickthough out of convention,
we assume the narrator did in fact have knowledge superior to that
of his protagonist, here the return to the sixteenth arrondissement
is with full knowledge of the illness and what will inevitably follow,
albeit without an exactly predictable pattern, order, or speed of infection; only the telos is certain. So the sixteenth becomes remarked as a
locus in which the protagonist with AIDS knows that matters will proceed according to their own course. So that logical move westward
the path defined by the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, the Bastille, the rue
de Rivoli, and now two points in the sixteenthis the only one that
is logically laid out in the book, and that is opposed to the breakneck
speed and jumping around that was discussed above. It is the figure of
a reintroduction, not of plenitude for the individual, but of Cartesian
logic for the virus:
Le lendemain matin, je vais lhpital pour une prise de sang. On me fait des
examens tous les trois mois. Les virus se multiplie tranquillement; les lymphocytes T4 agents des dfenses immunitaires diminuent lentement. Jai de la chance;
jaurais pu tomber sur une forme plus foudroyante de la maladie. (172)

Significantly, in the last half-dozen mentions of Paris, the streets


mentioned are often quite near hospitals. It is as if the city has been
transformed, once again, and this time, it has become one big medical ward, a place in which one may somehow prolong the advent of
death, but not for long. The last two mentions of the city are telling
in that light. In the first, the Collard character has an assignation with
a character on Avenue Ledru-Rollin (eleventh), a street halfway between two hospitals. They go up to the guys apartment, where the
trick, whom Collard has baptized with the name of the street, as if he

Schehr: Fragmented Territories / 63

were a figure of that locus and indistinguishable from it, wants to put
him into a sling (and does), and wants to shave him. Ultimately, in a
moment in the underground parking lot of the building, he urinates on
the protagonist in a facile introduction of the abject (242243), as if
the latter were no more than or no better than a toilet.
Body modification and the abject introduced by the character baptized Ledru-Rollin are, we might say, the beginning of the end. But
Collard also allows that the person in question is a doctor: the city has
become the doctor who treats the patient who will wind up disfigured,
marked, and dehumanized in the process. Not long after, Collard gets
chicken pox and winds up in the Hpital Pasteur (fifteenth), not coincidentally the hospital that predominantly served historically as a hospice for men in the last stages of AIDS (245).13 As Collards volume
progresses, we notice that, at the height of the AIDS crisis, as it intersected with spaces and urban geography, discourses were still not fully
clear, and the logic fades that we often associate with Cartesianism, as
I have already indicated, in favor of a multiply rhizomatic view of the
city and the body as representations of one another. When Cartesian
logic returns, it is at the expense of possibility: the character infected
with AIDS knows that he will not recover, that death is inevitable,
and that it will occur in the relatively near future. Paris serves as a
multiple backdrop for the struggle that is about to become an agony,
and it is marked for Collard as if it were a personal map recording
the moments and events of the inscription of the disease in and on his
body. Once the haven for gays from the provincesthough I hasten
to add that Collard himself was Parisianas the locus in which they
could live their lives and have their discourses and institutions, Paris
became, at least for a while, the place in which many had a rendezvous with death. Though in this case, it was not at some disputed
barricade, but squarely in the City of Light.14
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Notes
1. Dumas, of course, will repeat this gesture a few years later in Le Comte de Monte-Cristo
(1844), as he situates the Count (Dants) in a position of relative knowledge and power as he
presides over Valentines fake burial at Pre Lachaise.
2. See Lawrence R. Schehr, Parts of an Andrology: On Representations of Mens Bodies.

64 / French Forum / Winter 2009 / Vol. 34, No. 1


3. My thanks to David Caron, Denis Provencher, and James Mandrell for helpful comments
on this article.
4. In his excellent article, Alexandre Dauge-Roth develops the notion of a topographical
position relative to notions of testimony and witnessing. I thoroughly agree with his point of
view and am using a concept of cartography not unrelated to his notion of cartography (Alexandre Dauge-Roth, Staging Dialogues and Performing Encounters in French AIDS Narratives,
p. 99).
5. On contemporary remappings of gay Paris, see Denis M. Provenchers excellent reading, Gay Paris: Language, Sexuality, and Space in the French Capital, in his Queer French
(149191).
6. On the phenomenon in the early twentieth century, see especially Willy, The Third Sex,
trans. Lawrence R. Schehr. On more recent phenomena, see Lawrence R. Schehr, Recto/Verso:
Mapping the Contemporary Gay Novel.
7. Cyril Collard, Les Nuits fauves, p. 179. Future references to the novel will be given by
page number in the body of the article.
8. The reference, of course, is to the famous opening description of Le Pre Goriot.
9. These are neighborhoods in the North-East of Paris, situated largely in the eighteenth and
twentieth arrondissements.
10. As David Caron reports, ACT-UP, in those years, criticized authors like Guibert and Collard because they did not take a critical approach to dealing with the social underpinning and
causes of the syndrome (David Caron, AIDS in French Culture: Social Ills, Literary Cures,
p. 115). Carons reading and subtle analysis of Guiberts writing is invaluable to understanding
this important writer (112148).
11. This was the neighborhood in which Zola died (rue de Bruxelles) and in which Turgeniev stayed during his Paris trip. For a fascinating account of the latter, see Robert Dessaix,
Twilight of Love: Travels with Turgenev.
12. Pneumocystic pneumonia was the other classic AIDS-related opportunistic infection, but
it is more symptomatic than it is visible.
13. It should be noted that chicken pox and shingles, discussed below, are varieties of the
same virus.
14. Alan Seeger, Rendezvous: I have a rendezvous with death / At some disputed barricade [. . .].

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