Robbe-Grillet, Alain (älăNˈ rôb-grēyāˈ) [key], 1922–2008, French novelist and filmmaker, b. Brest. Robbe-Grillet is considered the originator of the French nouveau roman [new novel], in which conventional story is subordinated to structure and the significance of objects is stressed above that of human motivation or action. His influential essay Toward a New Novel (1963, tr. 1966) provided the theoretical groundwork for the genre. Robbe-Grillet's first novel, Les Gommes (tr. The Erasers, 1964), was published in 1953. Among his many other novels, many of them marked by violence, are The Voyeur (1955, tr. 1958), Jealousy (1957, tr. 1960), In the Labyrinth (1959, tr. 1960), Snapshots (1962, tr. 1968), La Maison de Rendez-vous (1965, tr. 1966), Topology of a Phantom City (1976, tr. 1977), Djinn (1981, tr. 1982), The Last Days of Corinth (1994), Repetition (2003), and A Sentimental Novel (2007), his last book. Robbe-Grillet's film works include the screenplay for Alain Resnais's enigmatic classic Last Year at Marienbad (1961), as well as those for L'Immortelle (1962), Trans-Europe Express (1966), Eden and After (1970), The Beautiful Prisoner (1983), and The Blue Villa (1996), which he also directed. In 2004 he became a member of the Académie Française.
See his memoir Ghosts in the Mirror (1984, tr. 1991); studies by B. Morrissette (1965), R. Armes (1981), J. Fletcher (1983), B. F. Stoltzfus (1985), R. L. Ramsay (1992), L. D. Roland (1994), M. H. Hellerstein (1998), and R. C. Smith (2000).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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