TABLE OF CONTENTS

TOM BISHOP

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

SEVEN YEARS AGO, two decades after having publicly renounced the writing of novels and just shy of his eightieth birthday, Alain Robbe-Grillet returned with astounding, youthful energy to the genre he had most practiced and had significantly marked. Long after the nouveau roman’s heyday in the 1950s and ’60s, the publication of La Reprise (2001; Repetition, 2003)¹ proved that Robbe-Grillet’s place among the leading French writers of the past half century was, however contested, amply justified. The French press was dithyrambic, praising the work’s imagination, humor, and sophistication. Even the conservative Figaro waxed enthusiastic. Claiming that La Reprise amounted to a birthday telegram from the author declaring, “New Novel not dead,” the newspaper asked, What is left of the nouveau roman? Robbe-Grillet delighted in answering: “Quite obviously, me most of all.”

And he was right.

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.