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Compact

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  20 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Maurice Roche has been called the most interesting novelist in France (TriQuarterly), and Compact one of the classics of our modernity (Le Figaro). Certainly, Compact is one of the most compellingly original works of fiction of the postwar period. Composed as if a musical score of six intertwining narratives (each distinguished by its own voice, tense, and typeface), Compa ...more
Hardcover, 153 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published January 1st 1966)
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Stephen P
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it

I knew nothing about the French, "New Novel," or Nouveau Roman. movement of the 1950's. After a brief search on the web this is my simplified version and I look to be corrected by those more in the know.

A group of writers in France having been influenced by Kafka, Beckett, among others became dissatisfied with the novel being corralled into the chronology of time rendered plots, characters, metaphorical stylizations, and florid flowing descriptions lent by poetic prose. Alain Robbe-Grillet appe
...more
Nate D
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: life-flashing-before-dulled-eyes
Recommended to Nate D by: M. Kitchell via goodreads
You shall be made sleepless even as you are left sightless. While you're penetrating the darkness, you'll penetrate into the night, getting in deeper and deeper, your already failing memory growing proportionally weaker as -- at the end of a long lethargy -- you become conscious of your condition. (How will you tell day from night?)


Insane and Incredible. A bed-bound dying blind man regresses through memory and personal geography and vestigial sex drive, tormented by the doctor who sustains him -
...more
Jocelyn
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Scary cover. Why it was replaced with a rainbow font 9 years later, I don't know.

I like this book because great sentences like this:

IT WAS NECESSARY TO REPLACE AND MOURN HER AND REPLACE THE SENTENCE WITH ANOTHER: ALL THAT WAS LEFT WAS TO EXTRACT-FROM MEMORIES (MEMOIRS?) TWO CENTURIES OLD-SEVERAL DRIED TEARS AND A CROSS

against incoherencies like this:

[("...We Ouy-Yyouououyyoureerrreeaarrrheearrhinkhinkhinkhinkhink-fwee!-tickettyto-ffwee!-ockbrid-



...etc.

I think Valery would like this. Nobody goin
...more
Sofia
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"What ticked me off reading Roche's Compact, though I liked it, was that the stuff I was writing when I was 15-18 was incontestably better, doing a similar thing, but going far, far beyond anything that any of the writers of the nouveau roman movement had even dreamed was possible. I had something great going, and fuckers stole my fire. I wish I'd read Compact earlier, that I'd had the chance to speak to people who'd read it and loved it, but, seriously, most inventive writer in French my fuckin ...more
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