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The Great Fire of London: A Story with Interpolations and Bifurcations Paperback – Apr 14 2015


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; Rep Tra edition (April 14 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564783960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564783967
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #636,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This challenging book is not a novel but the ruins of a novel: a few sentences of the preface and the struts of a theoretical framework are all that remain of 20 years' work. After dreaming the title in 1961, Roubaud worked out a system of constraints-- based on mathematics and troubador poetics-- which were to form the substructure of his novel. The system was worthy of a mathematics professor and member of Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle (Oulipo), the literary workshop where Georges Perec cultivated his lipograms and Raymond Queneau his combinatory literature. But when Roubaud's young wife, Alix, died in 1983, the novel ceased to be an intellectual quest and became rather a way of nullifying time. Remnants of the original recondite artifice remain embedded in Roubaud's new conceit, his "unedited-prose constraint," i.e., writing by placing one line after another without attempting to "erase, replace, correct on the spot . . . this initial language deposit." Through this relentless prose and various asides--the "interpolations and bifurcations"--Roubaud describes university haunts, old lovers, Pooh, making azarole jam, the British Library, himself, his work and the often unspoken but pervasive presence of the dead Alix, whose spirit tempers this demanding book.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Only those willing to set aside all preconceptions of what a novel is should take on this book. Roubaud's goal is to obliterate the novel as a form and replace it with a multilayered, multistyled collection of "moments," complete with additional musings appended in "interpolations and bifurcations." The resulting complexity is needless, often frustrating, and only justifiable stylistically, for there is no story or linear narrative in this work. In destroying this aspect, the author clearly achieves his goal. What is left, then, is a book relating the death of a story and focusing on the writer's inability to produce the story. While other writers may find this interesting, general readers certainly will not. Perhaps never before has "nothing" been rendered so problematically. Roubaud, himself a mathematician, should know how to express it with one sign.
- Paul E. Hutchison, Pequea, Pa.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stephen p brockbank on April 28 1999
Format: Hardcover
hypertext novel - excellent text read and enjoy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 21 people found the following review helpful
hypertext novel - not for those of linear mind April 28 1999
By stephen p brockbank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
hypertext novel - excellent text read and enjoy


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