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Old 19th Feb 2008, 9:34   #1
Stewart
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Default Alain Robbe-Grillet

I've never read a book by Alain Robbe-Grillet although I would, in time, like to. He was, however, the man who wrote the screenplay to my favourite film, Last Year In Marienbad.

So, well, he died. I've copied and pasted the BBC obituary, but there's a longer one on the Independent.

In fact, reading the Independent's I'm surprised to see this, given how much I love that film.

Quote:
He now turned to writing films, first and most famously the screenplay of L'Année Dernière * Marienbad (Last Year in Marienbad, 1961), which was directed by Alain Resnais. Resnais shrank from taking all the huge liberties with time and sequence that Robbe-Grillet asked for, and the frustrated novelist, ever the purist, decided that in future he would do his own directing.



Quote:
Alain Robbe-Grillet, the French writer who pioneered the so-called "new novel" genre, has died at the age of 85.


He was best-known for his unorthodox narratives, but enjoyed success, with novels such as Les Gommes (The Erasers) and Le Voyeur still studied today.

He also worked in film, first as a scriptwriter and later as a director.
The novelist was admitted to the Caen University Hospital in France over the weekend for cardiac problems and died on Monday morning, officials said.

Robbe-Grillet was born on 18 August, 1922, in Brest, western France.
The son of an engineer, he studied agricultural engineering and worked as a statistician and an agronomist before finding fame as a writer.

Murder
He developed the idea of the "nouveau roman" in a series of essays in the early 1960s.

Dispensing with traditional literary devices such as plot, narrative and chronology, the new novel sees story subordinated to structure, with the significance of objects more important than human action.

Les Gommes, his 1953 debut novel, remains among his most celebrated works and tells the story of a murder committed by the detective who has come to investigate it.

In 1958's La Jalousie (Jealousy), Robbe-Grillet writes of a man living on a banana plantation who suspects his wife of having an affair.

It was described in The New York Times Book Review as "a technical masterpiece, impeccably contrived".

But his novels were sometimes accused of resembling timetables or inventories.

The author was also associated with the new wave of French cinema, writing the screenplay for Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad and making several films under his own name.

Among his movies are 1963's L'Immortelle (The Immortal), 1966's Trans-Europ-Express, and 1968's L'Homme Qui Ment (The Man Who Lies).
His last novel, Un Roman Sentimental (A Sentimental Novel), was published in 2007.
To me the obituaries seem too sequential. I'm sure if Robbe-Grillet penned his own it would be all over the place.
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Old 20th Feb 2008, 11:14   #2
Howard Curtis
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Default Re: Alain Robbe-Grillet

Read Robbe-Grillet's early novels many years ago and quite enjoyed them, and saw a couple of his early films, ditto. Wasn't attracted to his later work, which seemed to be increasingly taken over by sado-masochistic imagery and revealed his sexual interest in very young girls. His last novel "Un Roman Sentimental", published in France last year, apparently combined his interests in sado-masochism and paedophilia to such an extreme degree that it could only be sold under plain wrappers.
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Old 20th Feb 2008, 11:24   #3
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Default Re: Alain Robbe-Grillet

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Originally Posted by Howard Curtis View Post
Wasn't attracted to his later work, which seemed to be increasingly taken over by sado-masochistic imagery and revealed his sexual interest in very young girls.
Must be a thing for that part of Europe. There was a Belgian author, called Louis Paul Boon, who was supposedly more paedophilic as he got older.
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