Alain Robbe-Grillet


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Robbe-Grillet, Alain

(älăN` rôb-grēyā`), 1922–2008, French novelist and filmmaker, b. Brest. Robbe-Grillet is considered the originator of the French nouveau roman [new novel], in which conventional story is subordinated to structure and the significance of objects is stressed above that of human motivation or action. His influential essay Pour un nouveau roman (1963; tr. Toward a New Novel, 1966) provided the theoretical groundwork for the genre. Robbe-Grillet's first novel, Les Gommes (tr. The Erasers, 1964), was published in 1953. Among his other novels, many of them marked by violence, are Le Voyeur (1955; tr. The Voyeur, 1958), La jalousie (1957; tr. Jealousy, 1960), Dans le labyrinthe (1959; tr. In the Labyrinth, 1960), Instantanés (1962; tr. Snapshots, 1968), La Maison de Rendez-vous (1965; tr. 1966, The House of Assignation, 1970), Topologie d'une cité fantôme (1976; tr. Topology of a Phantom City, 1977), Djinn (1981, tr. 1982), Les dernier jours de Corinthe [the last days of Corinth] (1994), La reprise (2001; tr. Repetition, 2003), and Un roman sentimental (2007; tr. A Sentimental Novel, 2014), his last book. Robbe-Grillet's film works include the screenplay for Alain ResnaisResnais, Alain
, 1922–2014, French filmmaker. Although not an official member of the French cinema's "new wave" movement, he shared its innovative and personal approach to style, content, and narrative.
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's enigmatic classic L'annèe dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad, 1961) as well as those for L'immortelle [the immortal one] (1962), Trans-Europ-Express (1966), L'Eden and l'après (Eden and After, 1970), La belle captive (The Beautiful Prisoner, 1983), and Un bruit qui rend fou (The Blue Villa, 1996), which he also directed. In 2004 he became a member of the Académie Française.

Bibliography

See his memoir Ghosts in the Mirror (1984, tr. 1991); studies by B. Morrissette (1965), R. Armes (1981), J. Fletcher (1983), B. F. Stoltzfus (1985), R. L. Ramsay (1992), L. D. Roland (1994), M. H. Hellerstein (1998), and R. C. Smith (2000).

Robbe-Grillet, Alain

 

Born Aug. 18, 1922, in Brest, department of Finistere. French writer and film director; one of the founders of the “new novel.”

Educated as an agricultural engineer, Robbe-Grillet was first published in 1953. In his depersonalized, flat narratives, Robbe-Grillet’s obsessive description of objects pushes aside both the narrative and the characters (for example, the novels The Voyeur, 1955, and Jealousy, 1957). Gradually these verbal still lifes grow into hallucinations of a chaotic, capricious, and defective world (the novel In the Labyrinth, 1959, and the film screenplay Last Year at Marienbad, 1961). This world cannot be animated by criminal events (the novel La Maison de rendez-vous, 1965), by a speculative response to political issues of the day (the novel Project for a Revolution in New York, 1970), or by morbid eroticism (the novel and film Glissements progressifs du plaisir, 1973).

WORKS

Pour un Nouveau Roman. Paris, 1963.
In Russian translation:
“V labirinte.” lnostrannaia literatura, 1961, no. 1. (Excerpt.)

REFERENCES

Velikovskii, S. “V laboratorii raschelovechivaniia iskusstva.” In the collection O sovremennoi burzhuaznoi estetike, vol. 1. Moscow, 1963.
Zonina, L. “‘Novyi roman’: vchera, segodnia.” Voprosy literatury, 1974, NO. 11.
Eremeev, L. A. Frantsuzskii “novyi roman.” Kiev, 1974.
Morrissette, B. Le Roman de Robbe-Grillet. [Paris, 1963.]
Ricardou, J. Pour une Théorie du nouveau roman. Paris [1971].
Gardies, A. A Robbe-Grillet. [Paris, 1972.]

S. I. VELIKOVSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
Heise notes, the notion of alternative temporalities is central to the narrative organization of postmodern novels, such as those of Italo Calvino and Alain Robbe-Grillet (29).
In contrast to the relentlessly optical novels of Alain Robbe-Grillet or the cinematic style of Michael Ondaatje, Nadas's novella appears strangely disconnected from the world of objects and sensuous surfaces.
Practitioners of the nouveau roman, such as Alain Robbe-Grillet, believe that for a writer the aim is to write, and whether what the writer writes is read or not is actually unimportant.
The screenplay is by the famed French writer and champion of the nouveau roman, Alain Robbe-Grillet.
These films established Resnais as a director whose narrative reconfigurations paralleled those of the twentieth-century literary avant-garde, and indeed two central figures of the Nouveau Roman, Marguerite Duras and Alain Robbe-Grillet, collaborated with him as screenwriters (on Hiroshima and Marienbad, respectively).
French novelist and cinematographer Alain Robbe-Grillet wrote the introduction to the catalog for the 1978 exhibition of works by American Pop artist Jasper Johns at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
Birthdays: Author Brian Aldiss, 73; cricketer Godfrey Evans, 78; Polish director Roman Polanski, 65; American actor Robert Redford, 61; French novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet, 76.
A constellation of reference points might also include Flann O'Brien, Oulipo writers (particularly Georges Perec), Alain Robbe-Grillet and his nouveau roman fellow travelers, Thomas Bernhard, Charles Bukowski, and William Burroughs, plus such geniuses of so-called genre fiction as Jim Thompson, Philip K.
I myself would add Alain Robbe-Grillet (Les gommes, 1953) for changing the shape of the novel.
Tel Quel first appeared in March 1960 as a literary magazine, launched by a group of very precocious literary talents (almost all were published authors in their early twenties) and closely connected to the nouveau roman and its luminaries, writers like Alain Robbe-Grillet and Jean Ricardou.