Herbert Lust

Herbert Lust received his M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1948. Soon after, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study how the modern American novel had influenced the contemporary French novel. He then studied for two years at the Sorbonne during which he completed the first version of Violence & Defiance, then titled “Letter to Frederick.” It was read in this form by many friends, including Alice B. Toklas, Alberto Giacometti, Maurice Blanchot, and Cyril Connolly.

After returning to America in 1951 he taught literature for a few years at the University of Chicago and then became an investment banker. He has written many novels and other works, most of which are unpublished. He is the author of three art books: A Dozen Principles for Art Investment (Chicago: Galerie le chat Bernard, 1969); Giacometti: The Complete Graphics and 15 Drawings (New York: Tudor, 1970); Enrico Baj: Dada Impressionist -A Catalogue Raisonne for the Paintings (Turin: Guilio Bolaffi, 1973).

Today he lives between Connecticut and New York City and is an avid art collector, cat lover, and grandfather.


Violence & Defiance

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Herbert Lust

An unusual novel form is created by the use of an actual crisis inside and around the author’s life as subplot to the fiction. The time span in the fiction is meshed to a contiguous time span of autobiographical time by a voice situated in the curious ethics of “gut time.” A powerful conceptual framework grounded in dark, personal despair, the startling first novel forgoes a new language. Lust bends syntax to follow the emotions that range from the simple to the impenetrable. In this process, pronouns, prepositions, and adverbs are altered - as illustrated by the absence of the suffixial adverb and the preposition “of” in the narrative prose. Despite its innovations Violence and Defiance, through its electrifying story, can be read like a conventional novel.

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