The Mysterious Barricades

François Couperin’s piece for harpsichord Les Barricades Mystérieuses has caught the imagination of many. In these pages I discuss the piece and its title and gather its echoes in music, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, the visual arts, film, and performance.

A French radio documentary, by Philippe Gumplowicz and Christine Robert, about the philosopher and psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, and the group around him in the 1960s and 70s, is entitled “Les barricades mystérieuses : La bande à Félix Guattari“. The documentary was originally broadcast on the 14th March, 2011, as part of the program France Culture and in places, it uses Couperin’s composition. The piece was inspired by a photo of members of the circle that re-surfaced in 2010, following the publication of a Wikipedia article:


The documentary can be heard here.


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