Nouveau roman  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Nouveau roman refers to certain 1950s French novels that diverged from classical literary genres which also have been called anti-novels. Literally translated, the phrase means "new novel."

Émile Henriot coined the title in an article in the popular French newspaper Le Monde on May 22, 1957 to describe certain writers who experimented with style in each novel, creating an essentially new style each time.

Alain Robbe-Grillet, an influential theorist as well as writer of the nouveau roman, published a series of essays on the nature and future of the novel which were later collected in Pour un Nouveau Roman. Rejecting many of the established features of the novel to date, Robbe-Grillet regarded many earlier novelists as old-fashioned in their focus on plot, action, narrative, ideas, and character. Instead, he put forward a theory of the novel as focused on objects: the ideal nouveau roman would be an individual version and vision of things, subordinating plot and character to the details of the world rather than enlisting the world in their service.

Despite the assertions of nouveauté, this vision of the novel can be construed as developing from earlier writers' suggestions and practice. Huysmans, ninety years before, had suggested how the novel might be depersonalised; more recently, Kafka had shown that conventional methods of depicting character were not essential; James Joyce had done the same for plot; and absurdist writers had engaged with some of the themes which preoccupied writers of/on the nouveau roman.

Authors in the style of the Nouveau Roman

See also



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Nouveau roman" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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