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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillet ,. Richard Howard Translator. Alain Robbe-Grillet is internationally hailed as the chief spokesman for the noveau roman and one of the great novelists of the twentieth century. The Erasers, his first novel, reads like a detective story but is primarily concerned with weaving and then probing a complete mixture of fact and fantasy. The narrative spans the twenty-four-hour period following a series of ei Alain Robbe-Grillet is internationally hailed as the chief spokesman for the noveau roman and one of the great novelists of the twentieth century.
The narrative spans the twenty-four-hour period following a series of eight murders in eight days, presumably the work of a terrorist group. After the ninth murder, the investigation is then turned over to a police agent, who may in fact be the assassin.
Both an engrossing mystery and a sinister deconstruction of reality, The Erasers intrigues and unnerves with equal force as it pull us along to its ominous conclusion. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 21st by Grove Press first published February More Details Original Title.
Wallas , Daniel Dupont. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Erasers , please sign up. See 1 question about The Erasers…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Erasers. May 08, Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing. A novelist is someone who confuses his own life with that of his characters.
The cold Northern European industrial city we encounter in The Erasers is ugly and creepy, lacking any trace of charm or warmth. This unattractiveness also extends to the people inhabiting the city. I dropped it almost immediately and the arm fell back flabbily. Because I have the strong impression both Robbe-Grillet and Sartre a great influence on the author saw flab and fat as repulsive and ugly, a counter to the possibility of freedom and spontaneity and fluidity we can experience in our human embodiment.
In contradistinction, Wallas is a tall, calm young man with regular features and who walks with an elastic, confident gate. Thank you. How nauseating! Not surprisingly, Wallas eats too fast, resulting in an upset stomach. Ahead of him, under a snowy sky, extends the Rue de Brabant — and its grim housefronts. An entire city of unsightly sights and repellent people. Is it too much of a stretch to interpret the pistol Wallas shoots at the end of the novel as, in part, a reaction to overbearing ugliness?
Rather than providing a definitive answer, this raises another set of questions: Are we as readers so coarse and dull and deadened by the modern mechanized world that we accept the ugly as the norm? Does this acceptance account for the fact that all the essays and reviews I have read on this novel do not draw attention to the ugliness Wallas confronts?
View all 25 comments. Mar 24, William2 rated it really liked it Shelves: france , fiction , ce , translation.
Notes: Twenty-four hours in pages: 5. Over description for purposes of derealisation or defamiliarization , a technique out of Russian Formalism.
Much movement of characters through physical space—the streets of an unnamed provincial city beset by canals and drawbridges, a derelict inn, etc. Even interior monologues focus on the external world. Virtually no introspection into the individual lives of the characters: their preferences or peccadilloes. Eve Notes: Twenty-four hours in pages: 5. Even for the victim, Professor Daniel Dupont, most detail given is about how to achieve his murder.
There's little curiosity about his work, which never gets more specific than "political work," though two texts are mentioned, one on economic cycles and another on phenomenology. There is also a mention of anarchists. The novel has elements of the police procedural; it might also be called, in part, a murderers' procedural. Published in , some of its more obvious models would probably have been Georges Simenon , Agatha Christie , Boris Vian etc. Probably because of the anarchists, though in that earlier novel they tend to promote terror by bombing things.
The mode of terror here is death by gunshot. The diction is moderately freighted. This is no light, airy read by any means. Moreover, it is utterly humorless. The book must contain twenty points of view, each with its own unique perspective on events rigorously thought out. Streets of the unnamed town are labyrinthine. Wallas, the newbie detective, is often lost. A shrewdly thought out work that grips the reader consistently. The post-modernist bits don't get in the way.
Mostly, a very dense thriller requiring close reading. An unusual, rewarding read. View all 6 comments. Dec 15, Fergus rated it really liked it. I finished this book in March of , during the beginning of the final spring thaw. I still remember walking through the puddled, misty, grey streets of our sleepy Ontario university town, musing deeply. For its streets, like the U2 song says, now seemed to be nameless - and endless - for that was part and parcel of the greyly monotonous magic spell that Alain Robbe-Grillet had by then woven into the fabric of my mind!
It was, after Beckett, my first encounter with postmodernism. And I enjoyed it; for as one one year now remained till graduation, I needed every escape I could find from my heavy course load.
But there is grave danger in certain escapes! Such in fact is our life! Where are we going? What do we know for sure? So Robbe-Grillet, hunkered down at his writing desk in the shambles that was postwar Europe, seems to ask But he seems to have been unaware of the power of the nouveau roman until he was 17, when one of the writers of that genre, Raymond Queneau, took him under his wing.
So The Erasers was utterly groundbreaking in its time. Well, think back to as late as the early twentieth century. It was a world of plain facts. The predictable is comforting, and even murder can appear mundane under such comforting predictability.
And the nightmare lives on and grabs us in Robbe-Grillet. We are assaulted by the Absurd at every turn. Instead of facts we have become an appalled world, hyper-conscious of its Breaking Tweets. Is there hope in that?
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Robbe-Grillet's genius is all in the mind
He was one of the figures most associated with the Nouveau Roman new novel trend of the s, along with Nathalie Sarraute , Michel Butor and Claude Simon. 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.