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Contesting forms: An interdisciplinary study of Robbe-Grillet

Brown, Jonathan Charles; (1995) Contesting forms: An interdisciplinary study of Robbe-Grillet. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This is the first detailed study of Robbe-Grillet's complete works in film and literature. It argues that Robbe-Grillet's art is both a contestation and a contest of forms. In his filmic and literary texts, Robbe-Grillet violently subverts naturalised forms of narration. His work is also the site of a confrontation between media, as he consistently alternates between literary and filmic modes of creation, implicitly placing one in contest with the other. An interdisciplinary study of his art is thus the most productive: it also contests one art form with another through comparative juxtaposition, and demonstrates how both context and corpus inform, and are informed by, the interpenetration of theories, themes, techniques and intertexts from both media. First, Robbe-Grillet's context is analysed via the genesis of narrative techniques, theories of authorship, and conceptions of language and narration in film and literature. Interdisciplinary textual analysis then illustrates the contestation of both filmic and literary forms in his work, via an examination of the dramatisation of formal play and of the contest for narrative control. Divergent theories of violence and eroticism in filmic and literary media are explored, in order to define further the controversial nature of the sadoerotic theme. The revolutionising of literary form by Robbe-Grillet is shown to culminate in a radical intertextual subversion of one medium by the other, via the contamination of filmic text by literary and pictorial intertexts, and in the staged confrontation between iconic and verbal elements in his picto- and photo-novels. The interdisciplinary approach developed to account for the peculiar ontology of Robbe-Grillet's work finally seems to lead both to a method which could be further tested through an application to other authors who operate across different artistic media, and, through an analysis of representation and reception, to a theory of formal creativity.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Contesting forms: An interdisciplinary study of Robbe-Grillet
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108390
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