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Alain Robbe-Grillet: Bucketfuls of semen

A new DVD boxset shows how the French novelist went from author to auteur

By David Anderson  

An agronomist who specialised in diseases affecting tropical fruit, Alain Robbe-Grillet might once have seemed an unlikely candidate for the esteemed heights of the Académie francaise. It wasn’t until his late twenties that he began writing seriously. Yet in the 1950s he published a series of books—The Erasers, The Voyeur and Jealousy—that made him the figurehead and chief spokesman of the nouveau roman, or “new novel.” Conventional…

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