Sex and Class

Didier Eribon and Magnus Marsdal

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Didier Eribon and Magnus Marsdal

His father has died. That is why the French academic Didier Eribon is returning to Reims for the first time in more than twenty years. Known for his sociological research on homosexuality and open about his own orientation, Eribon is struck by the paradox upon his encounter with his childhood home: Why has it been more difficult for him to write and talk about the fact that he is from a working class home than the fact that he belongs to a sexual minority? And how is it that he is still somehow ashamed over his working class background, even at sixty?

Returning to Reims is among the most critically acclaimed essays in France and Europe in the last decade, regarded as a central contribution to the understanding of how Front National has captured the French working class. The essay has been dramatized by the Berlin theatre Schaubühne and performed at the Manchester International Festival. It is also the book that compelled Édouard Louis to write The End of Eddy.

Didier Eribon is a professor of philosophy and sociology, and the writer of a number of sociological books, with an extensive biography of Michel Foucault among the best known. At the House of Literature, he will meet writer and head of the leftist think tank Manifest, Magnus Marsdal, in conversation. Mardal has also explored the reasons why working class voters are moving to the rightwing parties.

The conversation will be in English.

Friday, October 5, Didier Eribon will give a lecture about the French philosopher and feminist Simone de Beauvoir. (

Litteraturhuset Wergeland English

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