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Laura Ellen Joyce

I love 'Jealousy'. It's one of my favourite novels. It has such a slow pace and nothing happens but everything does. It works in the way that thought does. You start reading it and then you wander into the vagaries of what is happening, what people are thinking. It's an amazing accomplishment.


What Robbe-Grillet called "realism" about his own writing is in fact the solipsism of a house cat-- recording series of impressions without the application of intelligence to make sense of them.
The important thing to consider is that his ideas were in fact a dead end. Contrary to his purpose, they did not lead to a revival of interest in literature. Quite the opposite.
How does one explain the "realism" of the greatest writers, such as Tolstoy? Tolstoy not only described the clusterfuck of war-- the jangled mesh of noise, smoke, and blood-- but he put these experiences into the context of a society, a land, a nation. He presented his story AS a story-- with, yes, structure, so that one feels from the outset the inevitability of the various plot threads (of War and Peace); we KNOW Napoleon's army will eventually appear on the scene; that the various characters will have their various encounters and love affairs, which makes for tremendous anticipation-- anticipation which is never disappointed. To all this Tolstoy added ideas; or more, his intense intelligence, subtle commentary on the events he depicts.
Tolstoy used ALL the tools available to the writer-- the tools which Robbe-Grillet intentionally rejected, which is why Robbe-Grillet's art is so narrow, so limp, so unsatisfactory to the intelligent reader.

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