July 19, 2014 · 2:00 PM
Robbe-Grillet is an influential writer of the "nouveau roman" novel that developed in France during the 1950's. In this Style, such things as plot development and character analysis are subordinated to the repetitive, geometric description of objects. There is an exclusive and tyrannical appeal to the sense of sight. But does this replace - or can it reveal - the interiority of the characters? In contrast to writers such as, say, Dostoevsky, his novels are considered 'anti-psychological.'
Without using the usual, worn-out, literary devices - like narrative and ideas - Robbe-Grillet forces us to piece together the story (since we can't help but do that) through shifting repetitions, minute details, and splintered timelines.
His first published novel, "The Erasers" (1953), apparently has something to do with Oedipus. Or maybe not. With Robbe-Grillet you can never be sure.
Perhaps an appeal for Robbe-Grillet is that he is just so, well, . . . different. If you're up for something unique (which doesn't mean it's good, although to me it does) you'll probably like it.