babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » Alain Robbe-Grillet, pioneer of nouveau roman, dies

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Alain Robbe-Grillet, pioneer of nouveau roman, dies
Catchfire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4019

posted 19 February 2008 02:33 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
L'écrivain Alain Robbe-Grillet est mort

quote:
L'écrivain Alain Robbe-Grillet est mort, à l'âge de 85 ans, dans la nuit du dimanche 17 au lundi 18 février à Caen à la suite de problèmes cardiaques, a-t-on appris, lundi, auprès d'Olivier Corpet, ami d'Alain Robbe-Grillet et directeur de l'Institut "Mémoires de l'édition contemporaine".

Des grands écrivains de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle, il a été sans doute le plus connu à l'étranger et le moins aimé en France. Admiré, certes, controversé, jalousé, respecté aussi pour sa vivacité intellectuelle, mais aimé non, justement parce que son intelligence était narquoise, belliqueuse. Naturellement chef d'école parce qu'il avait des convictions esthétiques fortes, il les défendait en attaquant. Le Nouveau roman, dont il s'institua le chef de file, il l'a conçu comme une manière de faire corps contre la littérature qu'il trouvait périmée, facile et qui plaisait au grand nombre. Sa formation d'ingénieur agronome lui avait donné l'idée qu'en art comme en science, il y a progrès, et que les vérités neuves s'imposent en rendant caduques les anciennes. Il pouvait donc y avoir des erreurs esthétiques, de mauvais raisonnements en art comme il y en a d'inélégants en mathématique. Et puis des révolutions. Le nouveau devait tuer l'ancien, ceci remplacer cela. Robbe-Grillet remplacer… qui, quoi ? Balzac, le roman balzacien, ses adeptes traditionnels, le romancier régnant sur sa création comme Dieu sur l'univers, éternellement, alors qu'en art tout est jeu de formes et de langage, "remise en question permanente", "perpétuelle renaissance".


(Sorry for the French obit, but the English ones are woefully inadequate. Here's the AP blurb.)

quote:
Alain Robbe-Grillet, an avant-garde author who dispensed with conventional storytelling as a pioneer of the postwar "new novel" movement in France, died Monday. He was 85.

Robbe-Grillet died at Caen University Hospital in western France, where he had been admitted over the weekend for cardiac problems, hospital officials said.

He was among the most prominent of France's "new novelists" that emerged in the 1950s, which included Nobel Prize laureate Claude Simon, Michel Butor and Nathalie Sarraute. The group's experimental works tossed aside traditional literary conventions like plot and character development, narrative and chronology, chapters and punctuation.

A trained agronomist, Robbe-Grillet in the 1940s suddenly felt drawn to writing, he explained years later. He wanted to tell a story "beyond the norm, in which the hero struggles within unhinged space and time."


[ 19 February 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11463

posted 19 February 2008 06:27 AM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Robbe-Grillet was one of the modern purveyors of the grand old tradition of French "machisme". One of his most celebrated quotes is defining women's body as "le lieu privilégié de l'attentat" ("the choice locus of assault"). In his latest (and thankfully final) book, he came out as a paedophile and S-M enthusiast, but even after its publication, he remained respected and feared, as the "Pope of the Nouveau Roman". His novels were uniformly formal and turgid, but his reputation as a master overshadowed that of more gifted (and readable) Nouveau Roman writers such as Nathalie Sarraute.
From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4019

posted 19 February 2008 07:03 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Um, when you read The Hobbit do you think that J.R.R. Tolkien is spending his evenings in mithril vests fighting dragons? Robbe-Grillet didn't "come out" as a paedophile any more than Orlando Bloom "came out" as a wood elf.

I admit that I'm not that familiar with his work aside from Les Gommes (1953) which I read in translation (The Erasers) and his essays. Les Gommes is an wonderful novel.

His impact on American and British writers is emphatic. His personal life, his social comportment and the fact that he remains despised in France make him a fascinating figure. There are many aspects of his life that leave him open to criticism, but please, show a little more critical acumen.

quote:
Justice Potter Stewart in Miller vs. California:
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.

From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4019

posted 19 February 2008 07:05 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, and here's a much better English obituary in The Guardian.
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11463

posted 19 February 2008 07:19 AM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Robbe-Grillet went further than merely publish paedophile/sadist fantasies. Like NAMBLA activists, he publicly defended paedophilia as "serving" youths' necessary apprenticeship:
quote:
from a french blog: "Robbe-Grillet déclarait il y a quelques années à Jacques Chancel sur la pédophilie ; c'était sur France Inter je crois. Il défendait clairement - autant que je me souvienne - une sorte de version "grecque", "antique", de l'apprentissage de l'enfant (quel âge ? je ne sais plus) passait aussi par la consommation sexuelle de son démiurge.(...)

But I imagine that is also OK with you, and that you consider "The Writer" and his licence as being necessarily above any moral or political considerations.

From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11463

posted 19 February 2008 08:55 AM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bob Herbert on how the market supplies men with children:
quote:
(...) We often see the girls arrested and the pimps and the johns go free," said Carol Smolenski, the head of Ecpat-USA, a group that fights the sexual exploitation of children. "One of the big problems is that there is this whole set of child sex exploiters who are not targeted as exceptionally bad guys."

What's needed is a paradigm shift. Society (and thus law enforcement) needs to view any adult who sexually exploits a child as a villain, and the exploited child as a victim of that villainy. If a 35-year-old pimp puts a 16-year-old girl on the street and a 30-year-old john pays to have sex with her, how is it reasonable that the girl is most often the point in that triangle that is targeted by law enforcement? (...)


(The Wrong Target)

From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4019

posted 20 February 2008 12:25 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But I imagine that is also OK with you, and that you consider "The Writer" and his licence as being necessarily above any moral or political considerations.

You know, martin, it's lovely when you get out of your depth because it reveals the arrogance with which you approach every topic. You'll have to point out where I said the writer is "necessarily above any moral or political considerations." Not judge writing? Sorry, I'm making a career out of it. But I tend to think that we should approach writing with more intelligence than a book-burning librarian on the lookout for smut.

Although, I suppose since you have an uncited statement of hearsay, that rather closes the book on whether R-G was a paedophile, no? Oh, and with a totally irrelevant third-party statement on teenage prostitution. Cripes. Go read a book.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
adam stratton
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14803

posted 20 February 2008 02:02 AM      Profile for adam stratton        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
martin dufresne,

Perhaps you should explain to Catchfire and all that as an activist against sexism and patriarchy, you have to indulge in a witch hunt and find sexist males even where they do not exist.

Perhaps you should explain that you see Babble as the gathering place for sexists and thanks to your efforts and vigilence you have already "caught" quite a few so far.

Your arrogance and immaturity are beyond belief, martin dufresne!


From: Eastern Ontario | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 20 February 2008 03:59 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by martin dufresne:
Like NAMBLA activists, he publicly defended paedophilia as "serving" youths' necessary apprenticeship...

But I imagine that is also OK with you


That's a shitty thing to say. This is a personal attack and not allowed on babble. Desist immediately or you'll be taking a vacation from this site.

adam, your personal attacks on martin are also unnecessary. The last thing anyone needs during an argument between two babblers is a third one piling on with his abuse.

[ 20 February 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11463

posted 20 February 2008 07:19 AM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree it was over the line and inappropriate to guess in advance at the response I would be gettng. I should have phrased it as a question, which I'll do now: "If Robbe-Grillet did defend adult-child sex as a French viewer of this TV program says he did, is this acceptable to Catchfire?"
From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4019

posted 20 February 2008 03:19 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Have you stopped beating your wife, martin?

If Robbe-Grillet said on a television show "I think adults should be allowed to rape children" and I was convinced he was saying it non-ironically and expressing a personal opinion, then no, I don't think that's acceptable. But it seems to me that in answering that question, the goal posts have moved so far from your original assertion that we have moved into the carnivalesque.

But, until I know what Robbe-Grillet said, all I have to judge him by is a paraphrase filtered by two people who want to view him as a paedophile (Incidentally, is consensual sex between an adult male and a teenage female paedophilia?) I am inclined, however, to forgive him in his art (at least, give him the benefit of the doubt until I read it) because Iknow him to be a sharply critical writer, aware of real, human libidinal impulses, even the uncomfortable ones and capable of showing them to the people who would rather pretend they didn't exist. I know, martin, I know. The strategy worked so well for Chamberlain, didn't it?

Thanks for (almost)apologizing for calling me a paedophile, though. I would expect nothing less.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11463

posted 20 February 2008 03:39 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You know and I know that I never wrote or suggested any such thing. But if that is what you need to do to discredit my point, that is interesting!

[ 20 February 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 20 February 2008 03:41 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You didn't call him a pedophile, that's true. You said that defending pedophilia is okay with him. Also not allowed.

Anyhow, since it doesn't look like you're going to bother apologizing for the insult, let's move on.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11463

posted 20 February 2008 03:58 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I did correct my statement, above. If you are satisfied that his response is nothing like what I was seeing coming, I won't press. People can read.
From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca