Two novels by Robbe-Grillet : Jealousy & In the labyrinth by Alain Robbe-Grillet, Richard Howard, Roland Barthes, Bruce

By Alain Robbe-Grillet, Richard Howard, Roland Barthes, Bruce Morisette, Anne Minor

Here, in a single quantity, are extraordinary novels via the executive spokesman of the so-called “new novel” which has triggered such dialogue and aroused such controversy. “Jealousy,” stated the hot York instances publication evaluation “is a technical masterpiece, impeccably contrived.” “It is an exciting challenge,” acknowledged the San Francisco Chronicle. the days Literary complement of London referred to as Robbe-Grillet an “incomparable artist” and the dad or mum termed Jealousy “an amazing book.” In his local France, best critic Maurice Nadeau wrote in France-Observateur that “In the Labyrinth is healthier than an outstanding novel: it's a nice paintings of literature,” and fellow novelist and critic Claude Roy judged an analogous paintings Robbe-Grillet’s “best book,” whereas right here in the United States the “Parade of Books” column known as within the Labyrinth “a hugely emotional event for the reader” and went directly to are expecting: “Robbe-Grillet will take his position in global literature as a successor of Balzac and Proust.”

This quantity, which deals incisive essays on Robbe-Grillet by way of Professor Bruce Morrissette of the college of Chicago and by way of French critics Roland Barthes and Anne Minor, additionally features a precious bibliography of writings through and concerning the author.

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But it is not the assassin, it is the presumed victim, finally slain by the very hand which sought to effect a premature vengeance. Fascinated by the various objets troublants of the novel, by the author's art of description (in which some critics, like François Mauriac, saw a parallel with the poems of Francis Ponge describing pebbles, wicker baskets, and the like), the reviewers, following the lead of Roland Barthes’ early essays on Robbe-Grillet, directed their attention especially to the depictions of drawbridges in motion, wall posters in series, the arrangement of the seeds in a miraculously described section of tomato, etc.

Thus there reappear at different times, in skillful rhythm of repetitions: on the bank of the stream, the crouching native, “leaning over the liquid surface of the muddy river,” A's tapering fingers brushing her black curls or offering Franck, on the veranda, a glass filled to the brim. By a kind of enchantment, the reader gradually identifies himself with this gaze and breathlessly follows the slow, tormenting progress of jealousy. Is this a kind of justifying evidence? We reach the paroxysm, we lie in wait for the criminal, but nothing happens except the return to the miniscule details and their undecipherable mystery From the position of A and of Franck, from their fugitive smiles, from the description of the hallway, of the office whose doors open onto the terrace, the reader reconstructs the scenes, the characters.

Here function is treacherously usurped by the object's sheer existence: thinness, position, and color establish it far less as an article of food than as a complex organization of space; far less in relation to its natural function (to be eaten) than as a point in a visual itinerary, a site in the murderer's route from object to object, from surface to surface. Robbe-Grillet's object, in fact, invariably possesses this mystifying, almost hoaxing power: its technological nature, so to speak, is immediately apparent, of course — the sandwiches are to be eaten, the erasers to rub out lines, the bridges to be crossed — it is never in itself remarkable, its apparent function readily makes it a part of the urban landscape or commonplace interior in which it is to be found.

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