Alain Robbe-Grillet Repetition: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780802140579

Repetition: A Novel

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We are in the bombed-out Berlin of 1949, after the Second World War, rendered with an atmosphere reminiscent of Orson Welles’ The Third Man. Henri Robin, a special agent of the French secret service, arrives in the ruined former capital to which he feels linked by a vague but recurrent childhood memory. But the real purpose of his mission has not been revealed to him, for his superiors have decided to afford him only as much information as is indispensable for the action expected of his blind loyalty. But nothing is what it seems, and matters do not turn out as anticipated.

Indeed, the events that punctuate the secret agent’s stay in Berlin are liable to abrupt transitions, thrilling and questionable in equal measure: a shooting, a kidnapping, druggings, encounters with pimps and teenage whores, police interrogations, even some elegantly staged torture. These bloody events take place amid thick fog along the city’s canals, and even more mysterious narrative tricks. Robin or is the narrator actually twin brothers? falls in love with a mysterious woman named Jo Kast (a reference to Oedipus’s mother Jocasta). Her teenaged daughter Gegenecke (the German translation of Antigone), a provocative blonde, will form a strange partnership reminiscent of the blind Oedipus led into exile by Antigone. Dupont, the hero of The Erasers, returns here as van Brucke (both names mean Of the Bridge,” one in French, the other in German). In this astonishing fictional cat-and-mouse game, reminiscent of Daedalus’s labyrinth, nothing that is remembered can be altogether true, but only what is remembered can be real.

Readers of Robbe-Grillet’s novel Erasers will recognize, as the secret agent of Repetition slowly becomes aware that he was in Berlin before as a child, with his mother, perhaps looking for his father the same allusions to bits and pieces of the Oedipus story built into the hero’s own. Indeed erasing” a story by retelling it is the central motif of all Robbe-Grillet’s fiction and films, of which this latest and probably last novel is in many ways the most revealing and triumphant version.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

From Publishers Weekly:

A spy novel about a French agent in 1949 Berlin becomes an oedipal journey into the agent's past and an adventure in unreliable narration in this work by nouveau roman pioneer Robbe-Grillet, his first in 20 years. Henri Robin (or so his passport identifies him) is a spy crossing Europe on a train, pondering a mission that has yet to be revealed to him. As he enters the ravaged city, Robin is haunted by flashbacks, even though, ostensibly, he has never been to Berlin before. His assignment, he learns, is to watch a murder that's supposed to take place in an outdoor plaza. Robin observes closely, but when he goes to recount the details, his story is confused and contradictory, and Robin finds himself in the heart of the murder investigation. As the nebulous case plays out, Robin comes to live with the murder victim's wife and adolescent daughter, Gigi, the latter representing a pivotal link to Robin's family history as well as the espionage machinations. Robbe-Grillet shifts back and forth between the criminal investigation, the espionage plot and the playful Freudian analysis of Robin's childhood and subconscious. Extensive footnotes introduce the possibility that Robin may in fact be a lunatic. Newcomers braced for surreal narrative lurches will find this an entertaining introduction to Robbe-Grillet's work. As the title coyly suggests, his admirers will find much of this territory familiar, but that only adds another layer of irony to Robbe-Grillet's witty allusions.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Grove/Atlantic, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. We are in the bombed-out Berlin of 1949, after the Second World War, rendered with an atmosphere reminiscent of Orson Welles The Third Man. Henri Robin, a special agent of the French secret service, arrives in the ruined former capital to which he feels linked by a vague but recurrent childhood memory. But the real purpose of his mission has not been revealed to him, for his superiors have decided to afford him only as much information as is indispensable for the action expected of his blind loyalty. But nothing is what it seems, and matters do not turn out as anticipated. Indeed, the events that punctuate the secret agent s stay in Berlin are liable to abrupt transitions, thrilling and questionable in equal measure: a shooting, a kidnapping, druggings, encounters with pimps and teenage whores, police interrogations, even some elegantly staged torture. These bloody events take place amid thick fog along the city s canals, and even more mysterious narrative tricks. Robinor is the narrator actually twin brothers?falls in love with a mysterious woman named Jo Kast (a reference to Oedipus s mother Jocasta). Her teenaged daughter Gegenecke (the German translation of Antigone), a provocative blonde, will form a strange partnership reminiscent of the blind Oedipus led into exile by Antigone. Dupont, the hero of The Erasers, returns here as van Brucke (both names mean Of the Bridge, one in French, the other in German). In this astonishing fictional cat-and-mouse game, reminiscent of Daedalus s labyrinth, nothing that is remembered can be altogether true, but only what is remembered can be real. Readers of Robbe-Grillet s novel Erasers will recognize, as the secret agent of Repetition slowly becomes aware that he was in Berlin beforeas a child, with his mother, perhaps looking for his fatherthe same allusions to bits and pieces of the Oedipus story built into the hero s own. Indeed erasing a story by retelling it is the central motif of all Robbe-Grillet s fiction and films, of which this latest and probably last novel is in many ways the most revealing and triumphant version. Seller Inventory # AAC9780802140579

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Book Description Grove/Atlantic, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. We are in the bombed-out Berlin of 1949, after the Second World War, rendered with an atmosphere reminiscent of Orson Welles The Third Man. Henri Robin, a special agent of the French secret service, arrives in the ruined former capital to which he feels linked by a vague but recurrent childhood memory. But the real purpose of his mission has not been revealed to him, for his superiors have decided to afford him only as much information as is indispensable for the action expected of his blind loyalty. But nothing is what it seems, and matters do not turn out as anticipated. Indeed, the events that punctuate the secret agent s stay in Berlin are liable to abrupt transitions, thrilling and questionable in equal measure: a shooting, a kidnapping, druggings, encounters with pimps and teenage whores, police interrogations, even some elegantly staged torture. These bloody events take place amid thick fog along the city s canals, and even more mysterious narrative tricks. Robinor is the narrator actually twin brothers?falls in love with a mysterious woman named Jo Kast (a reference to Oedipus s mother Jocasta). Her teenaged daughter Gegenecke (the German translation of Antigone), a provocative blonde, will form a strange partnership reminiscent of the blind Oedipus led into exile by Antigone. Dupont, the hero of The Erasers, returns here as van Brucke (both names mean Of the Bridge, one in French, the other in German). In this astonishing fictional cat-and-mouse game, reminiscent of Daedalus s labyrinth, nothing that is remembered can be altogether true, but only what is remembered can be real. Readers of Robbe-Grillet s novel Erasers will recognize, as the secret agent of Repetition slowly becomes aware that he was in Berlin beforeas a child, with his mother, perhaps looking for his fatherthe same allusions to bits and pieces of the Oedipus story built into the hero s own. Indeed erasing a story by retelling it is the central motif of all Robbe-Grillet s fiction and films, of which this latest and probably last novel is in many ways the most revealing and triumphant version. Seller Inventory # AAC9780802140579

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