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Stephen Bann

16 June 1983
Worstward Ho 
by Samuel Beckett.
Calder, 48 pp., £5.50, April 1983, 0 7145 3979 1
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That Voice 
by Robert Pinget, translated by Barbara Wright.
Red Dust (New York), 114 pp., $10.95, May 1983, 0 87376 041 7
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King Solomon 
by Romain Gary, translated by Barbara Wright.
Harvill, 256 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 00 261416 2
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A Year in Hartlebury, or The Election 
by Benjamin Disraeli and Sarah Disraeli.
Murray, 222 pp., £8.50, May 1983, 0 7195 4020 8
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The Sentimental Agents in the Volyen Empire 
by Doris Lessing.
Cape, 180 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 224 02130 3
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... of the lone authorial voice. There is perhaps only one other living author for whom a direct comparison with Beckett would be neither irrelevant nor absurd. The French novelist and playwright RobertPinget was put forward in the 1960s as an exponent of the ‘nouveau roman’. But his affiliation with Beckett was always stronger than the temporary association with Robbe-Grillet’s travelling circus ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Editions de minuit

14 January 2002
... the Ecole de Minuit, before entering literary history as the Nouveaux Romanciers: Alain Robbe-Grillet, Claude Simon, Nathalie Sarraute, Michel Butor and the hugely entertaining and wrongly overlooked RobertPinget. Beckett in particular, and later the very bankable Robbe-Grillet and Simon, seem never to have thought of being published by anyone else, even if it did mean their having to argue the toss ...

Under-the-Table-Talk

Christopher Tayler: Beckett’s Letters

19 March 2015
Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1957-65 
by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 771 pp., £30, September 2014, 978 0 521 86795 5
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... the poet Anne Atik wrote in a memoir, ‘the first person I ever met who drank black radish-juice’ – her most interesting appearances are in the generous quotations from an unpublished journal by RobertPinget, one of the few Beckett disciples to whom she took a liking. On 6 August 1960, he pays a visit to hand back to Sam the ms. [of Comment c’est] he’d given me three days before to read. I was ...
20 February 1997
Oeuvres complètes 
by Nathalie Sarraute, edited by Jean-Yves Tadié.
Gallimard, 2128 pp., £52.05, October 1996, 2 07 011434 1
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... experience helped later in the shaping of her fiction and it’s one she shares, oddly, with the only other living French novelist I would compare with her as a source of intelligent pleasure, RobertPinget.) She went about literature slowly once she had taken to it. Tropisms, her first book, was not published until 1939, seven years after she began writing it. It is a sparse but mordant ...

At the Crime Scene

Adam Shatz: Robbe-Grillet’s Bad Thoughts

30 July 2014
A Sentimental Novel 
by Alain Robbe-Grillet, translated by D.E. Brooke.
Dalkey Archive, 142 pp., £9.50, April 2014, 978 1 62897 006 7
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... Le Voyeur and La Jalousie followed over the next four years. As an adviser to Lindon, Robbe-Grillet began shepherding to publication the novels of Michel Butor, Nathalie Sarraute, Claude Simon, RobertPinget and Marguerite Duras, who were soon known as the ‘école de Minuit’. These writers drew on different models, but with their detached sensibility and rejection of 19th-century dramatic ...

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