Quotes by Michel Butor

"Every word written is a victory against Death."

"Novel is a particular form of narrative./ And narrative is a phenomenon which extends considerably beyond the scope of literature; it is one of the essential constituents of our understanding of reality. From the time we begin to understand language until our death, we are perpetually surrounded by narratives, first of all in our family, then at school, then through our encounters with people and reading.
- The Novel as Research. (1968)"

"La lectura, y sobre todo la lectura novelesca, es un tipo de sueño; un sueño que no realizamos dormidos sino en un estado particular que no corresponde enteramente a estar despierto."

Books by Michel Butor

  • Il giocatore
  • 61,272 ratings
  • January 1st 2002 by A. Mondadori

    (first published March 10th 1866)

  • Faust
  • 35,987 ratings
  • 2011 by D. de Selliers

    (first published 1832)

  • Gli europei
  • 4,244 ratings
  • May 2011 by Mondadori

    (first published 1878)

  • La Modification
  • 973 ratings
  • September 1st 1980 by Éditions de Minuit

    (first published 1957)

  • Passing Time
  • 134 ratings
  • 1960 by Simon and Schuster

    (first published 1956)

Michel Butor
  • Michel Butor

  • Date of birth: September 14, 1926
  • Died: August 24, 2016
  • Born: in Mons-en-Barœul, France.

  • Description: Michel Marie François Butor was born in Mons-en-Barœul, a suburb of Lille. He studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, graduating in 1947. He has taught in Egypt, Manchester, Thessaloniki, the United States, and Geneva. He has won many literary awards for his work, including the Prix Apollo, the Prix Fénéon; and the Prix Renaudot.

    Journalists and critics have associated his novels with the nouveau roman, but Butor himself long resisted that association. The main point of similarity is a very general one, not much beyond that; like exponents of the nouveau roman, he can be described as an experimental writer. His best-known novel, La Modification, for instance, is written entirely in the second person. In his 1967 La critique et l'invention, he famously said that even the most literal quotation is already a kind of parody because of its "trans-contextualization."

    For decades, he chose to work in other forms, from essays to poetry to artist's books to unclassifiable works like Mobile. Literature, painting and travel are subjects particularly dear to Butor. Part of the fascination of his writing is the way it combines the rigorous symmetries that led Roland Barthes to praise him as an epitome of structuralism (exemplified, for instance, by the architectural scheme of Passage de Milan or the calendrical structure of L'emploi du temps) with a lyrical sensibility more akin to Baudelaire than to Robbe-Grillet.