The world lost one of the most innovative, and perhaps complicated artistic minds in recent history with the passing of noted novelist, and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet last week in France at the age of 85. Known by many as the father of the nouveau roman (new novel), he is perhaps best known as the Screenwriter of Alain Renais' 1961 film "Last Year at Marienbad". He had become an esteemed member of the Acad'emie francaise in 2004.
I was lucky enough to have studied both the writing and films of M. Robbe-Grillet during a semester (1992) intensive course taught by two Robbe-Grillet scholars, Mr. Roch Smith and Anthony Fragola while an undergraduate at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Robbe-Grillet himself had been a lecturer in residence at the university in the Fall of 1987.
I have been entranced, challenged, and inspired by his work ever since...forever the trickster.