Order Inspection Copy

To order an inspection copy of this book you must be an Academic or Teacher. Please complete this form before adding to cart. To fulfill your inspection copy request, we require the following information about your position and campus.

* Required Fields

To complete your Inspection Copy Request you will need to click the Checkout button in the right margin and complete the checkout formalities. You can include Inspection Copies and purchased items in the same shopping cart, see our Inspection Copy terms for further information.

Any Questions? Please email our text Support Team on text@footprint.com.au


Email this to a friend

* ALL required Fields

Order Inspection Copy

An inspection copy has been added to your shopping cart

Learning What Love Means

by Mathieu Lindon Semiotext(e)
Pub Date:
Pbk 240 pages
AU$37.99 NZ$39.12
Product Status: In Stock Now
add to your cart
“I loved Michel as Michel, not as a father. Never did I feel the slightest jealousy or the slightest embitterment or exasperation when it came to him. It was something that no one has a right to expect from the best son or the best lover.” —from Learning What Love Means


Mathieu Lindon’s father Jérôme Lindon was the founder of Éditions de Minuit, the legendary French publishing company that not only gave the world the nouveau roman but also nurtured two Nobel Prize winners, Samuel Beckett and Michel Simon. Lindon rebelled against his father with the full battery of a “disastrous adolescence.” From the beginning, he had realized that he would not perpetuate the dynasty his father had created. For one thing, Mathieu Lindon is gay: he wouldn’t create any progeny, and the line of descent would stop with him.  


As this turbulent memoir reveals, it would take another literary giant—Michel Foucault—to reconcile Mathieu Lindon to his father’s love. Over an intense six-year period that included one year of living together in Foucault’s apartment on rue de Vaugirard, Lindon and Foucault enjoyed a passionate, productive friendship. Their social circle included other figures of the Parisian gay, literary, and art scenes (including Hervé Guibert and Daniel Defert), creating a satisfying, self-invented, pleasure-oriented surrogate family that eventually produced an alchemical miracle: Lindon reevaluated and accepted his father’s love. Foucault’s humanity and inventiveness gave Lindon the clarity and the magnanimity to accept the gifts his father had always offered.


Learning What Love Means is the story of a prodigal son’s rebellion and return, an unflinching portrait of two famous literary figures and the journey taken by a third—Lindon himself—to achieve a genuine capacity to love.


This book won the prestigious Prix Médicis in 2011 when it was published in French.
Mathieu Lindon, born in 1955, is a French writer and a journalist at Libération. He won the Prix Médecis in 2011 for the publication of Ce qu'aimer veut dire (Learning What Love Means).