ALAIN ROBBE-GRILLET THE VOYEUR PDF

He was trained as an agricultural engineer. During the years and , he participated in compulsory labor in Nuremberg, where he worked as a machinist. The initial few months were seen by Robbe-Grillet as something of a holiday, since, in between the very rudimentary training he was given to operate the machinery, he had free time to go to the theatre and the opera. In , he completed his diploma at the National Institute of Agronomy.

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Apr 29, Stephen P rated it really liked it It was as if no one had heard. The whistle blew again-a shrill, prolonged noise followed by three short blasts of ear-splitting violence: a violence without purpose that remained without effect. What are we to make of it? Continous, obstinate, simple declarative observations of concrete objects. Is this the vision of a pursuer, pursued, a keen detective, the cultured pen of a writer who threatens the accumulation of metaphoric meaning?

The It was as if no one had heard. The tension approaches unbearable. The narrator is absent. In this opened space we slip into the story. We do not see the character Mathias on a three hour boat trip back to the island of his youth, or the large eyed little girl reminding him of Violet. We do not see as him. We are him. We see the objects. The shards. The collectibles. Their weight, the burden of loneliness accumulating on our shoulders, massing, unrelenting.

We have to be wary of exact but false memories which would substitute themselves for the original earth and stones. We are here to sell watches. As a rat in a skinner Box we press a bar to make a pellet of food appear even if not hungry. We must quadrant and parcel our time before arriving down to a minute, a second, to maximize the most efficiency. We sell watches. We sell time. Robbe-Grillet makes it difficult for us.

We just need to sell the watches and get back to the return boat before it leaves in the late afternoon. This is important, for us to return.

Also to locate our past, the possibility of undoing in time what has been done? He shifts us in time from the past to the present and back. Their is the disappearance of transitions, of Robbe-Grillet himself. In his invisibility he has from a sentence to another using a third person lens, focusing his camera, as he did as a filmmaker, to view us close, then distant, making our alienation more profound. This whimsical God tosses us through time and space at His unseen will.

See if that stands up in court. A thirteen year old girl has been murdered on the island. The sailor who reports it was not there. People who we have grown up with do not recognize us, sometimes we, not them.

It is difficult to follow conversations, to make ourselves understood. Time has passed. We change according to how we have lived it? We can still sell more watches. We have not done well. Time has gotten away from us.

Like reading a good book. We see the thirteen year old girl, Jacqueline, in the hollow where she can be pushed from the precipitous cliff into the sea. We see or imagine? The memory is not exact. It distorts, embellishes. She reminds us of Violet, Violet of her. There are pieces our memory will link. Narratives must be constructed. Robbe- Grillet knows that. Where is he? Our whimsical God hiding in his craft and invisibility. The more guilty we feel the more important it is for us to not appear guilty, which of course makes us look guiltier.

We must catch the boat. What has happened to our time? Our world of isolated objects, noted? People who would open their doors and remember? Only if there was a narrator, an author for us to discuss this with, to consult.

We are left watching the boat disappear. We have missed it. Yet we are not disturbed. There is no one to go home to.

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Alain Robbe-Grillet

For a few brief decades in the 20th century important writers were expected to break the rules, violate all conventions, and in general rock the bloody boat. Instead of garnering praise by mastering the techniques of the trade, they made their name by subverting the accepted James Joyce inserted a single sentence that ran on for 4, words—longer than many short stories. One of these books became a classic and the other merely an oddity, but the same animating dis- regard for the accepted rules is evident in both. Alain Robbe-Grillet can hardly be understood outside the context of this desire to trample on the norms of narrative fiction.

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ALAIN ROBBE-GRILLET

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