PRINT Summer 2008


ALAIN ROBBE-GRILLET ABUNDANTLY wrote and spoke in the margins of his novels—giving interviews, writing articles, even inserting self-referential mirrors into the novels themselves. He used metadiscourse the way photographers use captions, in order to help readers know what the text was about and find their way in the labyrinth of the nouveau roman. Thus, in the late 1950s and early ’60s, he wrote the series of theoretical texts collected under the title Pour un nouveau roman (For a New Novel, 1963) that was almost instantly canonized as the manifesto of the school. It is always tempting to separate an author’s work into two halves: early and late. Yet the later Robbe-Grillet, who loved to contradict others as well as himself, scorned his readers alternately for not taking the statements of the early one seriously enough and for taking them far too seriously.

Robbe-Grillet’s early essays

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