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Hortense Is Abducted (Hortense #2)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
-- First paperback edition.
-- In this madcap metafictional mystery a 22-year-old philosophy student (Hortense) is kidnapped and a dog is murdered -- the imaginary country of Poldevia is somehow involved. Arranged in the form of a sestina (replete with authorial asides and plenty of puns, jokes and wordplay), this is the second installment in Roubaud's popular and widely ac
Paperback, 229 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 1987)
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Mar 08, 2016 Jonfaith rated it liked it
Highly informed and stylized, Hortense Is Abducted is a madcap dissection of the detective genre featuring characters Roubaud developed in an earlier novel Our Beautiful Heroine, one which I haven't read. This is all out Oulipo, games and maths subvert the story and any sources of sentiment. The crime is solved via math, based on the sequence of characters appearing in the text. There are nods and plaudits all around. I did appreciate the effort, the scintillating architecture even if the sighs ...more
MJ Nicholls
From Jacques the Fatalist to Jacques Roubaud: OuLiPo’s lesser-known practitioner and most famous surviving member, excluding Harry Mathews, who isn’t really French anyway. For some reason, Dalkey Archive have only released two volumes in the Hortense trilogy—the first, Our Beautiful Heroine, has been translated by Overlook Press, but is due a reprint—but grumbles aside, there’s much ludic OuLiPo larks in this farcical detective spoof. A brief scan of this book’s blurb sums up the anarchic and de ...more
Vit Babenco
Dec 31, 2016 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing
“Not a soul, not a cat. Not the soul of a cat, consequently. The sounds of the city arrived only faintly, as if from far away, as if come from another world: the world of anguish, of the ephemeral, of illusion; the world that is barbarous, carnivorous, villainous; the world of fevers, beavers, bacterium; of biles, of woes, of crimes; the world of dementia, of embolism, of entropy; of lucre, of licentiousness, of smoke; of lycanthropy, of pyromania, of syzygy; and reciprocally… you know, the worl ...more
Jordan Smith
May 31, 2013 Jordan Smith rated it liked it
One of my favorite first sentences ever.

Much to enjoy, much to think about; the problem for me was that there is much to think about again, and again...and again... I have never seen the "meta" laid on so thickly and persistently. So much about the author not being in control of his text, about the characters bearing independent existences, etc. It felt like Vonnegut in Breakfast of Champions, but with the metaliterary cross-penetration of author's reality and fictional diegesis fetishized. And
Matthew rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2008
May 22, 2014 Addison rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with Jacques Roubaud in about 5 minutes.
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Jacques Roubaud (born 1932 in Caluire-et-Cuire, Rhône) is a French poet and mathematician.
He is a retired Mathematics professor from University of Paris X, a retired Poetry professor from EHESS and a member of the Oulipo group, he has also published poetry, plays, novels, and translated English poetry and books into French such as Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark.
Roubaud's fiction often su
More about Jacques Roubaud...

Other Books in the Series

Hortense (3 books)
  • La Belle Hortense (#1)
  • Hortense in Exile (Hortense, #3)

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