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Godin, Noël (b. 1945)

Alfred Vitale

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Western Europe » France

Period 2000 - present
1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics anarchism, biography, civil disobedience, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01697.x


Noël Godin is a Belgian anarchist author, actor, social commentator, and pie-thrower (or entarteur ). He has made a reputation as a subversive trickster humorist and an opponent of political power, moral order, and “depressing laws.” Since 1969, when he threw a cream pie at French writer Marguerite Duras, Noël Godin has targeted public figures preoccupied with their own self-importance and lacking any discernible sense of humor. He has even coined a term for his actions ( l'entartage ), declaring that “there are a thousand forms of subversion, all of them interesting. But few, in my opinion, can equal the convenience and immediacy of the cream pie” ( Chalmers 1995 ). Among his many targets, he has successfully entarted Jean-Luc Godard, Nicolas Sarkozy, and on more than one occasion, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. In 1998 Godin received worldwide attention for throwing a pie at Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, after which it is claimed Godin shrugged, “My work here is done.” Godin does not work alone, and the orchestration of his actions is assisted by a collective of supporters (a.k.a. “Gloup! Gloup!” or “Les Entarteurs”). In recent years his actions have influenced a number of copycat entartages , and he is sometimes given credit for actions in which he did not participate – further demonstrating the impact of his radical humor and critique on contemporary social figures. SEE ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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