Le Voyeur and Le Nouveau Roman

R-GI sat down to consider what I might say in a post focusing on my favorite author, Alain Robbe-Grillet. Specifically I was running through the events and the structure of what is possibly R-Gs most well-known novel, Le Voyeur. But despite having read this novel at least five times, I began to get confused.

It goes something like this:

Le Voyeur is the story of a watch salesman who takes the ferry to the offshore island where he grew up in hopes to makes some lucrative sales. While he is waiting for the ferry he thinks back to the last time he went to the island and, characteristic of the author, while he is imagining his past experiences, he is also having his remembered self thinking back to his even earlier experiences on the island. Then to really confuse the situation, the watch salesman is also imagining how he will canvas the island when he gets there and how he will make such excellent profits off of the watches he will sell after the ferry takes him to the island.

Of course, when the watch salesman gets to the island and tries to sell his wares, his efforts do not provide the rewards he imagined. Then a young girl is found strangled and there is talk of a stranger wandering suspiciously around the island. Is the watch salesman the killer? There are many clues to suggest he is guilty.

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Xiaolu Guo

GuoXiaolu Guo: A new author, but one who has built up a following and has several titles in print and translated into English. I just finished reading her novel Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth and am eager to procure and read all her other works. Wikipedia writes that Xiaolu Guo:

“… is a British Chinese novelist and filmmaker, who uses cinema and literary language to explore themes of alienation, memory, personal journeys, daily tragedies and develops her own vision of China’s past and its future in a global environment. She is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary literature in both Chinese and English. Her novels have been translated into more than 26 languages. She is one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2013.”

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