Download The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet PDF

By Alain Robbe-Grillet

Mathias, a timorous, ineffectual touring salesman, returns to the island of his delivery after an extended absence. days later, a thirteen-year-old lady is located drowned and mutilated. With eerie precision, Robbe-Grillet places us on the scene of the crime and takes us inside of Mathias's brain, artfully enlisting us as detective scorching at the path of a homocidal maniac. A victorious show of the strategies of the “new novel," The Voyeur achieves the most unlikely feat of retaining us totally engrossed within the secret of the child's homicide whereas systematically elevating doubts approximately even if it relatively happened.

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Yet that volume includes neither “Modernist Painting” nor “Towards a Newer Laocoon,” both of which were crucial to the development of Greenberg’s theory of art, and which remain, together with “Avant-Garde and Kitsch,” perhaps his best-known essays. It seems that in order for “the Greenberg effect” to take hold, the critic had to efface 14 CRIMINAL INGENUITY the traces of the struggle through which he secured his authority. Only then, could he affect a properly Eliotic hauteur. Moore is no purist, as her defense of the mongrel forms she calls “miscellanies” or “anthologies” shows.

39 In other words, much as the university served as the practical guarantee of the professions’ autonomy, so the humanities might serve as the ideological guarantee of the university’s autonomy. In the real institution built on Eliot’s imaginary one, poetry became the privileged exemplum of the humanities’ purity. As the well-known story goes, the appointed guardians of this purity were the New Critics, through whose reading practices the poem, or at least a certain type of lyric poem, was recast as an inwardturning, tightly bounded object.

20 The exorcism of “literature” as a threat to art’s autonomy makes sense, then, in the context of the Eliotic Trotskyist’s career-long struggle to frame art criticism as a self-justifying enterprise. The Eliotic acolyte’s choice to forego literature’s established prestige for a riskier investment in a rising art form is conflated with the Trotskyist apostate’s choice to forego political subversion for an aesthetic entrenchment that is part alienated withdrawal, part strategic retreat. The consequences of these choices were not merely personal: for the field of art history as a whole, a relative latecomer to the fold of the humanistic disciplines, Greenberg’s equation of painting with artistic autonomy tout court offered much-needed legitimacy.

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