Publishing, the Rules of the Trade

L'Epi monstre

Nicolas Genka, Julliard, original edition, 1962, Coll. Bfm - Limoges

With L’Épi monstre, Nicolas Genka ‘initiates us to what goes on in the substratum of our species’ (Marcel Jouhandeau). Under a pseudonym, plunging into his family history, the 21-year-old writer gives an uncompromising account of the incestuous relations between a father and his two daughters and the consequences: suicide, alcoholism… Refused by a dozen publishers, the book published by René Julliard incites either admiration or revulsion. The Supervisory Committee, totally missing the fact that the text was unique in its literary quality, saw only pornography and banned it.  His next novel, Jeanne la Pudeur (1963), was hailed by his peers but Nicolas Genka, shaken by the censorship and the scandal, abandoned his writing career. It took a decision by the Conseil d’Etat in 2005 to oblige the Ministry of the Interior to annul the decision to ban this novel.