Bruce Benderson  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bruce Benderson (born August 6, 1946) is an American author who lives in New York. He was a contemporary of Camille Paglia at William Nottingham High School (1964) in Syracuse, New York and then Binghamton University (1968). He is today a novelist, essayist, journalist and translator, widely published in France, less so in the United States. His book-length essay, Toward the New Degeneracy (1997), looks at New York’s Times Square, where rich and poor once mixed in a lively atmosphere of drugs, sex, and commerce. Benderson argues that this kind of mingling of classes has been the source of many modern avant-garde movements, and he laments the disappearance of that particular milieu. His novel User (1994) is a lyrical descent into the world of junkies and male hustlers. He is also the author of James Bidgood (Taschen, 1999), about the maker of the cult film Pink Narcissus. Benderson has been published in Between C & D, 3:AM Magazine, American Letters and Commentary, Men on Men and Flesh and the Word. He is also a journalist who has written on squatters for the New York Times Magazine, boxing for the Village Voice, unusual shelters for nest, and film and books and for various publications, including Out, The Stranger, New York Press, BlackBook magazine, and Paper. He has translated several books of French origin, including Virginie Despentes' novel Baise-moi (which was later adapated into a controversial film); the writers Robbe-Grillet, Pierre Guyotat, Sollers, Tony Duvert, Benoit Duteurtre and Nelly Arcan; and, though it is quite far away from his usual subject matter, the autobiography of Celine Dion. In 2007, his translation of Tony Duvert's "Le bon sexe illustré" (Good Sex Illustrated) was released by Semiotext(e). A second book by Duvert he has translated will be released by the same publisher in 2008.

In 2004, Benderson's lengthy erotic memoir Autobiographie erotique, about a nine-month sojourn in Romania, won the prestigious French literary prize, the Prix de Flore. The book was published in the United States (Tarcher/Penguin) and the United Kingdom (Snow Books) in 2006 under the title The Romanian: Story of an Obsession. A book-length essay, "Sexe et Solitude," about the extinction of urban space and the rise of the Internet, was published in French in 1999. A collection of essays, published under the title "Attitudes," appeared in French in 2006. These essays, along with "Sexe et Solitude" and "Toward the New Degeneracy," were printed in America in a nonfiction anthology of Benderson's writings entitled "Sex and Isolation" (U. of Wisconsin Press, 2007, which was cited as one of the 10 best university press books of the year by the magazine "Foreword." The year 2007 also saw the publication in French (Editions Payot & Rivages) of a new novel by Benderson called "Pacific Agony," a caustic satire of life in America's Pacific Northwest. That same year, Benderson's personal illustrated encyclopedia of the 60s and 70s, "Concentré de contreculture" (Editions Scali), was also published, in French only.

Benderson is the literary executor of the deceased novelist, Ursule Molinaro. He is mentioned in Frédéric Beigbeder's most recent book, Windows on the World. In 2006, he became a publishing associate at Virgin Books USA but now works for the literary agent David Vigliano.

French profile

Bruce Benderson est un écrivain américain.

Il a écrit des textes sur les junkies et la prostitution masculine, publiés dans de grandes revues new-yorkaises.

Il a publié un livre sur l'oeuvre du photographe James Bidgood en 1999.

Il a traduit Baise-moi, et plusieurs livres de Alain Robbe-Grillet, Pierre Guyotat, Tony Duvert ou Benoît Duteurtre, mais aussi l'autobiographie de Céline Dion.

En 2004, son Autobiographie érotique reçoit le Prix de Flore.

Ses livres en français

  • Toxico, 1998 (Rivages/Noir N°306).
  • Sexe et solitude, 1999 (Payot).
  • New York Rage, 2004 (Rivages).
  • Autobiographie érotique, 2004 (Rivages).
  • Collaboration à Psaumes pour Hubert Selby Jr., 2004 (Ere).
  • Articles pour Le Dictionnaire de la pornographie (dir. Philippe Di Folco, PUF, 2005)
  • Attitudes, chroniques 2006 (Bibliothèque Rivages).
  • Préface de Les Procédures de Vincent Eggericx, 2006 (Léo Scheer).
  • Préface de Matali Crasset, 2006 (Pyramid).
  • Concentré de Contre-Culture : 50 Idées, personnes et événements de l'underground qui ont changé ma vie, pour le meilleur ou pour le pire, 2007 (Scali).

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