JORN, Asger; ARNAUD, Noël. La Langue verte et la cuite, étude gastrophonique sur la marmythologie musiculinaire. Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert, 30 octobre 1968. 343 p.; ill.; 28 x 22.5 cm; ill. Dust jacket with minute tears. Signed by Jorn.

Published as the third volume of the Bibliotheque d’Alexandrie (Library of Alexandria), La Langue verte et la cuite is the result of a collaboration between Noel Arnaud from the College de Pataphysique and visual artist Asger Jorn. The work is spectacular in many respects. First, its sheer physicality: the book is almost 5 cm thick and weighs over 2 kilograms. Next, its rich production: La Langue verte includes 315 color illustrations and a luxuriously printed dust jacket. Last but not least, its many ambitions – including the articulation of a new (half-serious) art / science (“la cuisine des langues”) and a parody of structuralism, which was then all the rage in France. In many ways, La langue verte can be read as a situationist detournement of Claude Levi Strauss’ Le Cru et le Cuit (The Raw and the Cooked, 1964), which investigated the role of cooking in the transition from nature to culture.

For additional insights about La Langue verte et la cuite and its rich meaning, see: HARRIS, STEVEN. “How Language Looks: On Asger Jorn and Noël Arnaud’s La Langue Verte.” October 141 (2012): 111–32. https://tinyurl.com/thufnvzd