Monday, February 18, 2008

Nothing happens except everything

Robbe-Grillet became a cult figure among France's postwar intelligentsia with a genre of novel-writing that rejected conventions such as plot, characterization and emotion.

It effectively launched a type of semi-philosophical fiction in which nothing much happens but a vast amount is noticed, imagined or thought.

...But the cold genre that he helped pioneer, often lacking narrative focus but providing obsessional description of inanimate objects, failed to find broad appeal and never really took hold among the public at large.

With his fame at its height, he was invited in 1961 to write the film script for "L'Annee Derniere a Marienbad" (Last Year at Marienbad) -- almost a reflection of the "new novel" in film form, with a repetitive, dream-like interaction of three nameless characters in a chateau.

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