Saturday, 15 March 2008

Ou peut-etre hier, je ne sais pas

I said I'd write about that old fraud Robbe-Grillet, since I love but deplore him. But what's to say? Here is an exercise in the way in which you can write and which can produce (Les Gommes, La Jalousie, L'annee derniere a Marienbad) shimmering effects. You can even make a case for getting other people to do it (Pour un Nouveau Roman – the "pour" always, annoyingly, rendered in English as "For" rather than "Towards" or "The Case For" or even "Onwards!"). But it was a game.

He was a nice man, and I liked him. His obit is here. But there is a very interesting piece by Paul Theroux in the TLS on Camus v Simenon. The thing is that they all took themselves seriously. A fatal error.

Thank goodness we're not French.