Monday, March 17, 2008

More Robbe-Grillet!


Here's another striking irony. Robbe-Grillet's essay on writer Raymond Roussel indicates to me that if Roussel were alive today he'd be in the Underground Literary Alliance. Roussel would certainly be rejected by the lit-blogger bow-tie boys as a "bad writer."

The ULA has presented a wide variety of underground writers, including of course many whose writing styles are far different from my own. The underground has never been a monolith.

Willfully and explicitly the ULA welcomed writers like Jack Saunders who've remade the novel, Robbe-Grillet-style, and been rejected for it-- including by Robbe-Grillet advocates who should've known better, done a bit closer reading of their favorite literary theorist and author.

"Anti-intellectual" was a term likely hurled at the idol, Robbe-Grillet, as it has so often been thrown at the underground. If the French dude were around today he'd be in the rebel camp. Robbe-Grillet had little truck with the historically timid: the artistically imperious or aesthetically immoveable.


Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Robbe-Grillet was praised and criticized as being hyper-intellectual. Nabokov thought he was too smart, for God's sake. I realize it's hard to reconcile lit-boys liking a writer who ticked other people off, because it messes with your idea of us as sheep, but all the shoving in the world won't get Robbe-Grillet into an anti-intellectual mold. Anti-intellectual!

--the wandering jew

FDW said...

"Robbe-Grillet was inducted into France's Legion of Honour and in 2004 became one of the 40 so-called "immortals" of the elite Academie Francaise - the anointed protector of the French language.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said the Academie Francaise had lost "without a doubt its most rebellious" member, and "an entire section of French intellectual and literary history has disappeared" with Robbe-Grillet's passing.

"Sometimes, Robbe-Grillet drew reproach for being 'the theoretician of himself,' but that's precisely where his greatest strength lay: he was as good an intellectual as he was a great writer; equally at ease in the expression of his most intimate fantasies as in the lucid and dispassionate analysis of concepts."

Robbe-Grillet was born in the western town of Brest, the son of an engineer. He graduated from the prestigious Lycee Saint-Louis in Paris and received a degree in agricultural engineering from the National Agronomy Institute. "

French novelist Robbe-Grillet dies

As a young punk U student ib Philly I was exposed to the criticism and wouk (besides actually meeting him at Temple)in my clesses in modernism/ postmodernism AND psychoanaysis as applied to literary criticism.
Ihe party line (genuine lefty as were say Temple and Rutguers, Camdem, in them days.)was, and I was duly seduced, as pretty much follows--
Stylistic'ly the same drift as masters like Faulkner and Proust.
A real experimenter and writer-s (also a poet by the way ) like ARG were along with Claude Simon, etc. parallel the "artsy" "new wave" and "arteur" cinema (not movies!) from the Fifties for instance Godard (whom ARG wrote for) AND/Or
Truffaut [sic], etc. And the Beats but even more so more like Rexroth or even Buk (there's another Big Jack connection!)and the projectivists.
Personally I don't think Robbe- Grillet would've belonged to any "group" or "organization" like the ULA is percieved "narrowly" but would if he cared to to the ULA as it is "essentially", the "new" ULA so to speak, as the guy was existentially AND essentially a radical- subjectivist.
Sometimes a prodigy arrises from the shit of the dbl speak that is postModernism and deconstructionism.
By the way... does any body out there (I know I do?) know what "structualism" is any more or do talentless scabs use decon. to
cover the stench of the fact they stink?

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

R-B was in fact attacked for just about everything, as his comments in For a New Novel indicate.
In fact, he wasn't hyperintellectual or anti-intellectual. (Maybe pseudo-intellectual.)
Curious, incidentally, how his ideas correspond to the podification of literature.