University of Minnesota Press

‘Cacaphonies’ takes fecal matter and its place in literature seriously. In a stark challenge to the tendency to view 20th- and 21st-century French literature through sanitizing abstractions, Annabel L. Kim argues for feces as a figure of radical equality. ‘Cacaphonies’ reveals the aesthetic, political, and ethical potential of shit and its capacity to transform literature and life. Here, Kim is joined in conversation by Merve Emre, Rachele Dini, and Laure Murat.

Show Notes

The new book ‘Cacaphonies’ takes fecal matter and its place in literature seriously. In a stark challenge to the tendency to view 20th- and 21st-century French literature through sanitizing abstractions, Annabel L. Kim argues for feces as a figure of radical equality. ‘Cacaphonies’ reveals the aesthetic, political, and ethical potential of shit and its capacity to transform literature and life. Here, Kim is joined in conversation by Merve Emre, Rachele Dini, and Laure Murat.



Annabel L. Kim is the Roy G. Clouse associate professor of Romance Literatures and Languages at Harvard University. A specialist in 20th- and 21st-century French literature, Kim is author of ‘Unbecoming Language: Anti-Identitarian French Feminist Fictions’ and ‘Cacaphonies: The Excremental Canon of French Literature.’


Merve Emre is an associate professor of literature at the University of Oxford and a contributing writer at The New Yorker.


Rachele Dini is senior lecturer in English and American literature at the University of Roehampton, London.


Laure Murat is professor of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA’s Department of European Languages & Transcultural Studies and author of several books.





Episode references:
Louis-Ferdinand Céline; Voyage au bout de la nuit (Journey to the End of the Night)
Caca communism
Jean Genet
Kristin Ross (Fast Cars, Clean Bodies)
Susan Signe Morrison
Philip Roth (Patrimony)
Anne Garréta
Samuel Beckett (Molloy)
Rey Chow
James Joyce (Ulysses/Leopold Bloom)
Alain Resnais (Providence)

What is University of Minnesota Press?

Authors join peers, scholars, and friends in conversation. Topics include environment, humanities, race, social justice, cultural studies, art, literature and literary criticism, media studies, sociology, anthropology, grief and loss, mental health, and more.