Nate D's Reviews > Jealousy & In the Labyrinth

Jealousy & In the Labyrinth by Alain Robbe-Grillet
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Nov 04, 11

bookshelves: read-in-2011, 60s-re-de-construction, france, post-modernism
Recommended to Nate D by: parallel lines in snow, of snow
Recommended for: where did I leave my shoebox?
Read from November 02 to 04, 2011

I've already reviewed Jealousy elsewhere, so this rating / review is entirely for its follow-up, also contained in this volume. In the Labyrinth takes a lot of the repetition and variation structures that make up Jealousy, but reapplies them to a new context: a maybe-delerious soldier wandering the vacant streets of a soon-to-be-occupied city, attempting to deliver a mysterious package. But whereas Jealousy's ambiguities arose from the doubt and uncertainty of a single mind in action, here the entire structure, viewpoint and narrative frame is called into question. Could, for instance, this all be a construction of the unconcious soldier our protagonist briefly examines in the the next bed? The constantly shifting details of character, place, and action, repeating yet reconfiguring, echoing unexpectedly, suggest that the entire story-world exists in some still-indefinite state, the possible explanation for which may make his one of R-G's more ambitious (though less directly focused or compelling than the two that proceeded it, and less purely entertaining than what he would do in the 70s). Note also the pre-Lynchian red curtains, which I can't help but attach a similar significance to.
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