Misère du roman: collection bleue


« C’est une énigme de ce pays : pourquoi, après avoir inventé le roman réaliste et en avoir fait un genre dominant, s’est-il acharné à le détruire ? Au point qu’à la fin des années soixante, on enregistrait un double avis de décès : non seulement le roman, mais l’auteur étaient annoncés morts. En tenir responsable une seule convulsion littéraire organisée par des linguistes et autres sémiologues ce serait ne pas voir plus loin que le bout de la phrase. En se retournant, à présent qu’on en a fini avec la “table rase du passé”, on peut mieux juger de la composition du cocktail létal, qui mêle littérature, idéologie et histoire. Et ce qu’il raconte, c’est que la fameuse marquise, interdite de sortie à cinq heures par Valéry, a traversé le XXème siècle escortée d’une armée de fantômes. »

J. R.

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About the author

Né à Campbon, Jean Rouaud obtient le prix Goncourt pour son premier roman, Les Champs d’honneur (Editions de Minuit, 1990). Il est l'auteur, chez Grasset, d'Un peu la guerre (2014), Etre un écrivain (2015), et Misère du roman (2015).

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Additional Information

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Published on
Mar 4, 2015
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Literary Criticism / General
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Jean Rouaud
Hailed as a masterpiece, Jean Rouaud’s first novel, Fields of Glory, was awarded France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, and sold over a million copies worldwide. Of Illustrious Men establishes as fact what the first novel promised—that Rouaud is a writer of remarkable power, subtlety, and originality. Lovingly set in the same region as Fields of Glory, the novel is about the author’s father, Joseph, and a traveling salesman who died at forty-one and left a family in shock behind him. In the mind of the grieving eleven-year-old son—too young to have really known him—his father was a hero, a warrior, a legend of the Resistance during World War II. But the narrator is no longer that eleven-year-old boy; he is a mature and gifted writer. And though he may still ache for the loss of his father, he also knows that Joseph’s illustriousness can be found not only in the heady days of wartime glory but in moments of domestic tranquility. Of Illustrious Men evokes scenes of both war and peace with exquisite beauty and understated and poignant tenderness.

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