In the course of a writing career spanning half a century, Michel Butor has produced a remarkable range and volume of publications, including fiction, travel works, poetry, critical essays and various types of mixed-genre works which resist ready categorization. Much of this very diverse oeuvre is marked by his life-long passion for the visual arts. This study is the first full-length analysis of the role played by the references to the visual, plastic and architectural arts in Butor’s work. It addresses a wide range of issues including the role of the artwork, building or monument as narrative generator; the reflexive functions of the visual and architectural references; the interaction between visual/architectural references and intertextual citation; the role of collaboration in Butor’s oeuvre; the relationship between cultural baggage and the workings of the unconscious; the tension between Butor’s fascination for non-European artistic traditions and his continuing dialogue with the Western tradition.
About the Author
Jean H. Duffy is professor of French at the University of Edinburgh, the general editor of French Studies, and the author of Signs and Designs: Art and Architecture in the Work of Michel Butor.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1. Unfulfilled, Incomplete and Indefinitely Deferred: Desire and Art in Butor and Duchamp
2. High and Low Culture in L'Emploi du temps
3. Art, Architecture and Catholicism in La Modification
4. Illustration, Edification and Delusion in Degrés
5. Beyond Words: Collage, Collaboration, Text and Image