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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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