The Erasers

Robbe-Grillet, Alain

Published by Grove Press, 1964
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Bibliographic Details


Title: The Erasers

Publisher: Grove Press

Publication Date: 1964

Binding: hardcover

Description:

New York. 1964. Grove Press. 1st American Printing. Previous Owner’s Name Penned In Front, Otherwise Very Good In Dustjacket. Translated from the French by Richard Howard. 256 pages. hardcover. Cover design by Roy Kuhlman. keywords: Literature Translated France. inventory # 41311. FROM THE PUBLISHER - THE ERASERS, the work which propelled Alain Robbe—Grillet to the forefront of the new generation of French novelists, is set within the framework of the classic detect ire story. There is a victim, a murderer, and a detective who ‘solves’ the crime. In one sense, their roles are even respected. The relations which bind the characters together, however, are not the customary detective-story ties, but a complex network of syncopated, intertwining fact and fantasy, hypothesis and reality, memory and imagination. Something is out of joint, for between the firing of the revolver and the death of the victim there is a time lapse of twenty-four hours. The events, real and imagined, which take place during these ‘twenty-four hours too many’ form the narrative of the novel. The novel opens at 6:00 A.M. on Tuesday, October 27, in a café of an unidentified city whose atmosphere – canals, draw-bridges, severe identical façades – is Flemish, and ends in a similar, almost identical scene in the same café at precisely 6:00 A.M. the following morning. But the main action of the plot begins with a first revolver shot at 7:30 P.M. the evening of October 26 and ends with a second shot fired at 7:30 the following evening. There are thus not one but two interlocking and overlapping Unities of time. The victim is Daniel Dupont, a semiretired professor of economics who, in ways unspecified is connected with the government in power. During the preceding eight days, at precisely 7:30 P.M. a murder has been committed daily in various parts of the Country, Presumably the work of a terrorist group intent on bringing down the existing government. Following the assassination - or purported assassination - of Daniel Dupont, the ninth victim, a special agent is sent from the capital to investigate the crime. For twenty-four hours agent Wallas meticulously investigates every possible facet of the murder, his task complicated by the fact that there is no body. Has Dupont therefore really been murdered or merely wounded by the would-be assassin? Has he perhaps committed suicide, or has there actually been no crime at all? Or is Wallas, the supposed special agent, really the murderer himself? Whether read on the superficial level of a pure detective story with a surprise ending, or as the complex experimental novel it also is, The Erasers will intrigue and fascinate. One of the earliest examples of the ‘new novel’ technique as elaborated in France over the past decade, it is also one of the richest. Previous Owner’s Name Penned In Front, Otherwise Very Good In Dustjacket. Bookseller Inventory # 41311

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