February 12, 2004


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Glenn Kenny:

"One of the many reasons to love John Ashbery is his part in bringing Raymond Roussel to the attention of English-speaking readers. The daffy Roussel thought he was going to be Victor Hugo, but ended up the spiritual godfather of the Oulipo group. Ashbery wrote a great essay on Roussel that appears as the intro to the Roussel compendium "How I Wrote Certain of My Books," published by Exact Change. Ashbery also wrote a foreword to the "less annoying" Mark Ford's critical biography "Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams." There's an entertaining essay by Ashbery recounting his Roussel researches in '50s Paris, which earned him the tag "that crazy American." Where Ashbery stands in relation to Roussel formally is a question I will probably never have the luxury of grappling with, but if you delve into Roussel just the littlest bit, you can see how fascinating/vexing it is."

Posted by Sasha at February 12, 2004 06:23 PM | TrackBack