Michel Butor


This page provides a brief introduction to Michel Butor's work and to the site.

Sphinx and Great Pyramid, Egypt

A brief overview of Michel Butor's work

In the course of his long and extraordinarily productive writing career, Michel Butor has published a very wide range of texts.

In addition to his four novels and numerous volumes of poetry, Butor's publications include several mixed genre works which are normally classified under the heading 'romanesques'. These include Mobile, Réseau aérien, Description de San Marco, 6 810 000 litres d’eau par seconde, Intervalle, and the five-volume ‘travel’ series published under the collective title Le Génie du lieu, the writing and publication of which spanned much of his career (Le Génie du lieu, Où, Boomerang, Transit, Gyroscope).

Butor has also been a prolific literary and art critic and has been involved in hundreds of collaborative ventures not only with other writers, but also with artists, photographers, composers and film-makers. His exploration of issues relating to genre has resulted in the production of texts which combine fact and fiction, prose and poetry, words and images, and language and music. He has also published a number of texts which were originally conceived as radio and film scenarios.

Butor has also been a highly communicative interviewee. In addition to the various interviews given to critics and academics over the years, many of which have been collected in the recent three-volume set edited by Henri Desoubeaux in 1999, Butor has sanctioned the publication of several extended interview series given respectively to Georges Charbonnier, Madeleine Santschi, Michel Launay, Christian Jacomino, André Clavel, Béatrice Didier and Lucien Giraudo.

An overview of the content of the website

This web site aims to provide a research and reference apparatus which will assist orientation within Butor’s vast oeuvre. The site provides the following tools:

  • an outline biography
  • bibliography of Butor’s collaborative ventures with visual artists
  • a bibliography of Butor’s published interviews, correspondence and ‘dialogues’
  • a bibliography of publications on Butor’s work
  • an index of topics covered in his interviews
  • a summary of contents for the five volumes of Répertoire
  • an index of UK and Irish Libraries holding rare books by Butor and collaborators
  • links to on-line publications by Butor, to interviews with him and to related websites