France's new novel or anti-roman is no longer either new -- or iconoclastic; it is, in fact, the current tradition. Like...

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THE INTERROGATION

France's new novel or anti-roman is no longer either new -- or iconoclastic; it is, in fact, the current tradition. Like Coca Cola signs, its influences stretch everywhere, Le Proces Verbal (The Interrogation), though superficially stylized after older writers- Camus, for instance, especially L'Etranger- is at heart another of those proliferating adventures into annotational ambiguity. Its author, like Cayrol, Butor or Sarraute, is an arranger, not a builder; the plotless work a series of shifting situations, idiosyncratic and inconclusive. Its hero, ""Adam Pollo, martyr,"" is a young man enmeshed in the isolation of the everyday, a fish out of water, unsure of the ""real,"" unsure that there is any reality at all. He symbolizes, although he's determinedly unsymbolic, what Malraux has called ""the crevasse that separates us from universal life."" Thus we follow him through the customary contradictions, through the outer world of his inner experience; formerly of the Army, presently rootless, a pauvre type, a sort of square bohemian, with the bourgeois family, the estranged girl friend, the childhood recalls, the night journeys to bars or to the sea, the intrusion of random events: newspaper clippings, rumors of war, pop art, a drowning. Ultimately domiciled in an asylum, Adam faces a mass of student questioners, strait-jacketed rationalists, against whom his ""psychopathy"" appears angelic, existential, human. Out is it?... Le Clezio, still under 25, won last year's Prix Renaudot; his novel, even in its humdrum translation, shows a rich, risk-taking talent, an appropriately restless, para-realistic syntax, energetically experimental. Yet his work remains a map without markers, a game without rules.

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 1964

ISBN: 1439149410

Page Count: -

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1964