Robbe-Grillet, Alain

Robbe-Grillet, Alain älăN´ rôb-grēyā´ [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 Pour un nouveau roman (1963 tr. Toward a New Novel, 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 other novels, many of them marked by violence, are Le Voyeur (1955 tr. The Voyeur, 1958), La jalousie (1957 tr. Jealousy, 1960), Dans le labyrinthe (1959 tr. In the Labyrinth, 1960), Instantanés (1962 tr. Snapshots, 1968), La Maison de Rendez-vous (1965 tr. 1966, The House of Assignation, 1970), Topologie d'une cité fantôme (1976 tr. Topology of a Phantom City, 1977), Djinn (1981, tr. 1982), Les dernier jours de Corinthe [the last days of Corinth] (1994), La reprise (2001 tr. Repetition, 2003), and Un roman sentimental (2007 tr. A Sentimental Novel, 2014), his last book. Robbe-Grillet's film works include the screenplay for Alain Resnais 's enigmatic classic L'annèe dernière à Marienbad ( Last Year at Marienbad, 1961) as well as those for L'immortelle [the immortal one] (1962), Trans-Europ-Express (1966), L'Eden and l'après ( Eden and After, 1970), La belle captive ( The Beautiful Prisoner, 1983), and Un bruit qui rend fou ( 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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