Publisher: Commune Editions
Released: May 1, 2018
IIn 1968, Leslie Kaplan, a young American poet living in France, went to work in a factory. This was the Maoist practice of établissement, an effort toward helping form a revolutionary proletariat core. Excess—The Factory is about those years, about working class resistance to capitalism, about the possibility of a worker-led revolution, and about the '68 general strike in France. It has struck many readers (including French luminaries Maurice Blanchot and Marguerite Duras) as a unique event in writing, at once legendary and all but lost to history. This long overdue translation in English by Julie Carr and Jennifer Pap, true to the original's spare, descriptive tone, returns the book and its complex moment to new readers.
“The factory is immense, but the immensity is in pieces; we are in an infinity divided into pieces. This is what Leslie Kaplan teaches me, far from Pascal: the infinite, but the infinite in pieces." —Maurice Blanchot
"I think we've never spoken of the factory as this book has. It is completely otherwise, like the wellspring of another time. One recognizes it. It's very impressive. Like a commonplace, something everyone knows without having spoken of it." —Marguerite Duras