It may not be immediately clear why anyone should bother to demolish Nisard. Who on earth, after all, is De sire Nisard? A nineteenth-century literary critic, pedagogue, and member of the Acade mie Franc aise, an ardent champion of the glories of seventeenth-century France, an implacable foe of the literature of his own age, a long-forgotten footnote in literary history. An unprepossessing specimen, to be sure, but what harm can he possibly do us now? You d be surprised. Those dull books you keep reading? Blame Nisard. Trouble with your significant other? Nisard again. A painful pebble in your shoe? Nisard. No, De sire Nisard must be destroyed; the only question is how. But take comfort: with effervescent imagination and blistering wit, Eric Chevillard, one of contemporary France s most dazzlingly singular novelists, has come forward to give us a few ideas.