TABLE OF CONTENTS

EDITOR’S LETTER

A New Novel

Alain Resnais, L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad), 1961, still from a black-and-white film in 35 mm, 94 minutes. X (Giorgio Albertazzi) and M (Sacha Pitoëff).

IF ONLY IN THE SPIRIT of rhetorical gamesmanship, it seems entirely worthwhile to ask whether the concept of the avant-garde, or neo-avant-garde, is not totally irrelevant when it comes to discussions of artistic production today—even if considered simply a kind of measure against which the latter might be judged (and, almost invariably, deemed inadequate). But in suggesting as much, maybe one should scrutinize less the art than the metaphor underlying the critical model, insofar as the kind of military engagement providing the basis for such terminology is also long since a thing of the past. Certainly, in our ambiguous era of “war without borders,” to gravitate to the front lines would be altogether beside the point (or worse, to fall into a trap laid by convention): It would be to look past what is right before the eyes, out in the open yet surreptitious. Indeed, when

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