Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Because I believe Alain Robbe-Grillet’s collection of essays, For a New Novel, is the apotheosis of important texts, and since I am seriously combing it these days, I’ve decided to begin posting passages. Today’s excerpt is from the essay “Time and Description” (1963), in which he discusses a film he wrote for Alain Resnais called Last Year at Marienbad:

“The universe in which the entire film occurs is, characteristically, that of a perpetual present which makes all recourse to memory impossible. This is a world without a past, a world which is self-sufficient at every moment and which obliterates itself as it proceeds. This man, this woman, begin existing only when they appear on the screen the first time; before that they are nothing; and, once the projection is over, they are nothing again. Their existence lasts only as long as the film lasts. There can be no reality outside the images we see, the words we hear.”