How I Wrote Certain of My Books

Overview

Raymond Roussel (1877-1933), next-door neighbor of Marcel Proust, can be described without exaggeration as the most eccentric writer of the twentieth century. How I Wrote Certain of My Books is the key to his unearthly style; it is accompanied by selections from all his major works, translated by John Ashbery, Harry Mathews, and others.
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Overview

Raymond Roussel (1877-1933), next-door neighbor of Marcel Proust, can be described without exaggeration as the most eccentric writer of the twentieth century. How I Wrote Certain of My Books is the key to his unearthly style; it is accompanied by selections from all his major works, translated by John Ashbery, Harry Mathews, and others.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Considered to be the precursor to literary surrealism, Roussel was admired as a genius by such illustrious contemporary French writers as Cocteau, Gide, Foucault, and Giacometti. To the public in general he was perhaps one of the most extraordinary, eccentric writers of this century. In this volume, a cross-section of his major writings, he explains the method he used to compose his works. When he sent parts of this book to the printer in 1932, the understanding was that the text would not be published while he was alive (he died in 1933; it came out two years later). And so it was his last and posthumous work. Roussel's style is largely based on linguistic riddles and compositions of phonetically enigmatic or distorted sentences and phrases. His masterpiece, "New Impressions from Africa," is a poem illustrating his verbal acrobatics and the use of seemingly endlessly intertwined parenthetical thoughts like a Chinese puzzle. All this is compounded with a curious collection of 59 illustrations commissioned by the author and inspired by him. Recommended for literary collections.-Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878972149
  • Publisher: Exact Change
  • Publication date: 7/31/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,401,838
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 7.93 (h) x 0.72 (d)

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