Alain Robbe-Grillet Bibliography

I write the word CONSTRUCTION, a trompe-l'oeil painting, an imaginary construction by which I name the ruins of a future deity.
Topology of a Phantom City

Alain Robbe-Grillet working on the final pages of Angélique ou l'enchantement in Greensboro, North Carolina.

From the back of The Erotic Dream Machine: Interviews with Alain Robbe-Grillet on his Films.

Photograph by Roch C. Smith; used with his permission.

J'ai moi-même quitté depuis longtemps la maison natale. Je ne suis pas non plus au Mesnil, mais à Greensboro, dans les Carolines. J'y vis seul. Nous sommes le 12 octobre 1987. Dehors, il ne neige pas.
Angélique ou l'enchantement


I'm sorry I haven't had time to update this page with information on Robbe-Grillet's new novel (which I haven't even had time to read yet) nor the other related books that came out recently.  Hopefully someday soon....

Robbe-Grillet's films were supposed to be officially released on  video a few years ago but it never happened.

There was a one-day colloquium on Robbe-Grillet at New York University, sponsored by La Maison Francaise, on October 9, 1998. For information (as long as it is still up) go to here and click on "current" under "Calendar". I went there, finally got to meet Alain and Catherine Robbe-Grillet, as well as Véronique Simon and others, and had a great time.

There was a Robbe-Grillet film festival at Chapman University in Orange, California (near Los Angeles). Robbe-Grillet gave a talk on May 5. Some information can be found here.


General Information

Format of the Listings

The dates of novels are from the listings at the beginning of the Les Editions de Minuit editions. Sometimes they differ from the copyright date by one year--details are in the individual pages for each novel.

The French title, then an English translation. All editions which are in French (regardless of where published) use the French title. All English editions use the English title unless otherwise indicated.

Some of the bibliographic information was taken from MELVYL (link here), the online database for the University of California libraries.


Early Works (the "New Novel")

(1949) Un régicide (A Regicide)
(1953) Les gommes (The Erasers)
(1955) Le voyeur (The Voyeur)
(1957) La jalousie (Jealousy)
(1959) Dans le labyrinthe (In the Labyrinth)

"Cinematic" Novels

After a break in which Robbe-Grillet started work in film, he changed his style rather dramatically; this marks the beginning of the "New New Novel". The four novels La maison, Projet, Topologie and Souvenirs form the core of his work and are my personal favorites. The first two I call the "cinematic" novels, as they very much have the feel of a film, while at the same time being amazingly anti-visual.
(1965) La maison de rendez-vous (The House of Assignation)
(1970) Projet pour une révolution à New York (Project for a Revolution in New York)

"Collage" Novels

Also called "assemblage" novels, these are collages of texts originally appearing elsewhere, primarily from collaborations with (or "descriptons" of works by) artists, including painters René Magritte, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Paul Delvaux, and photographers David Hamilton and Irina Ionesco. I'll write more about the specific pieces they are made of later.

Passages originally from La belle captive (see the section on collaborations below) that refer to Magritte paintings available at WebLouvre and Switzerland now have pointers to the appropriate images.

(1976) Topologie d'une cité fantôme (Topology of a Phantom City)
(1978) Souvenirs du triangle d'or (Recollections of the Golden Triangle)

"Instructional" Novel

(Pointer to Le rendez-vous here.)

(1981) Djinn: un trou rouge entre les pavés disjoints (Djinn: a red hole between disjointed paving stones)


Robbe-Grillet's three-part imaginary autobiography, just completed this year (1994).

(1985) Le miroir qui revient (The Recurring Mirror)
(1988) Angélique ou l'enchantement (Angélique, or the Enchantment)
(1994) Les derniers jours de Corinthe (The Last Days of Corinthe)


(Needs work.)

All films except the first were both written and directed by Robbe-Grillet.

For more information on some of these films, check out the Robbe-Grillet info in the excellent Internet Movie Database.

(1961) L'année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad)
Directed by Alain Resnais, but Robbe-Grillet should be credited at least as co-director, as he wrote a detailed shooting script that Renais followed. Resnais did deviate from it in a few places, to the film's detriment. At the time Robbe-Grillet was directing L'immortelle.
(1963) L'immortelle (The Immortal One)
(1966) Trans-Europ-Express
(1968) L'homme qui ment (The Man Who Lies)
(1971) L'Eden et après (Eden and After)
First color film.
(1971) N a pris les dés (N Took the Dice)
Anagram version of L'Eden et après. Shown twice on French television.
(1974) Glissements progresifs du plaisir (Accelerative Slippages of Pleasure)
(1975) Le jeu avec le feu (Playing with Fire)
(1983) La belle captive (The Fair Captive)
(1995) Un bruit qui rend fou (A Maddening Noise)
English title is for some reason "The Blue Villa"
This was shown at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City September 14-30, 1995, as well as at several film festivals.

The official release of Robbe-Grillet's films on video will begin later this year!

There was a Film Retrospective in London along with a Conference in Oxford in September, 1996.
The proceedings as well as a documentary are available.

The film Trans-Europ-Express was shown April 17, 1997 in San Jose, California.

There is an analysis of the screenplay of Last Year at Marienbad by Walter Kirsch available on the web.

Other Books

(Needs work.)


Literally "movie-novels".

(1961) L'année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad)
(1963) L'immortelle (The Immortal One)
(1974) Glissements progresifs du plaisir (Accelerative Slippages of Pleasure)
Never translated into English. See the note for Un régicide above.

Collected Essays

(1963) Pour un nouveau roman (For a New Novel)

Short Stories

(1962) Instantanés (Snapshots)

Collaborations with other artists

(Needs work.)

Only the Hamilton collaborations are available in English, and the translations there are terrible so you might as well not bother. However the texts of all these were incorporated into the collage novels.

(1971) Reves des jeunes filles (Dreams of Young Girls)
Photographs by David Hamilton. Published by Laffont.
Published in the US by Morrow (?). US title: Dreams of a Young Girl.
The translation here is terrible. See the text of the first section of the fourth space of Topology of a Phantom City for a decent translation.
(1972) Les démoiselles d'Hamilton (The Women of Hamilton)
Photographs by David Hamilton. Published by Laffont.
Published in the US by Morrow (?). US title: Sisters.
The original title is a play on Picasso's painting Les démoiselles d'Avignon.
The translation here is terrible. See the text of the second section of the fourth space of Topology of a Phantom City for a decent translation.
(1975) Construction d'un temple en ruine a la deesse Vanade (Construction of a Ruined Temple for the Goddess Vanadis)
Paintings by Paul Delvaux. Limited edition published by Le Bateau-Lavoir. I've never seen it. Apparently there's a copy at the Bibiotheque Nationale in Paris; I don't know about other copies.
Text incorporated into Topologie d'une cité fantôme.
(1975) La belle captive (The Fair Captive)
Published by Bibliotheque des Arts.
"Collaboration" with the then-dead René Magritte. It consists of four chapters, the first of which appears in Topologie with the title "A double-backed altar", and the rest of which became part of Souvenirs. This is an expensive book, around $100, but it should still be available via special order, and is well worth getting. Seeing the original images that generated the text enriches the text itself enormously.
This came out in English, under the same title, translated and with essays by Ben Stoltzfus. Stoltzfus is one of the better Robbe-Grillet scholars, but his abilities as a translator are not so good and this is a fairly poor translation, far inferior to J. A. Underwood's translation of the same text. Also the quality of the reproductions of Magritte's paintings is poor, and they are all black and white whereas many are in color in the French edition. Still, it's worth getting if you can't get the original or think it's too expensive.
(1978) Traces suspectes en surfaces (Things are Not What They Seem)
Lithographs by Robert Rauschenberg. Limited edition published by Edition d'art. I've never seen it. There are apparently 35 copies. I've heard that one is at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, one at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, one at UCLA, and one or two at other US universities.
Text incorporated into Topologie d'une cité fantôme.
(1978?) Temple aux miroirs (Temple of Mirrors)
Photographs by Irina Ionesco. Published by?
This is in Books in Print, and has been so for several years. I tried to order it several years ago and was told it is unavailable; I tried again recently (September 1994) and was told by a guy at French and European that just because it's in Books in Print doesn't mean it's in print. My guess is that they just never bothered to remove the listing. According to MELVYL, UCLA and UC Riverside have copies. I have not yet seen it myself.
Text incorporated into Souvenirs du triangle d'or.

Uncollected Essays

Needs work. See Véronique Simon's bibliography (see the next section for more information) for pointers to many others.

(1977) Order and Disorder in Film and Fiction
In Critical Inquiry, Autumn 1977, pp. 1-20.
(1983) Images and Texts: A Dialog
In Generative Literature and Generative Art, edited by David Leach, York Press.
(198?) Beware of Pure Love
Appears in Harper's magazine, September of some year.

Works about Robbe-Grillet

This is still wildly incomplete. I had intended to include just a few works that themselves had extensive bibliographies, but I haven't even had time to do that. However Véronique Simon kindly sent me the excellent bibliography from her Ph.D. thesis (noted below) and had allowed me to use it here.

(1978) Obliques numéro 16-17
A literary magazine; this issue is devoted to Robbe-Grillet and is packed with valuable information about his novels and films.
(1992) The Erotic Dream Machine: Interviews with Alain Robbe-Grillet on his Films
By Anthony N. Fragola and Roch C. Smith. Published by Southern Illinois University Press.
Recent interviews with Robbe-Grillet about his films.
(1998) Alain Robbe-Grillet: Les Sables mouvants du texte. (Alain Robbe-Grillet: The Quicksand of the Text).
By Véronique Simon. Ph.D. thesis. Institut des Langues Romanes, Université d'Uppsala.
(1999) Understanding Robbe-Grillet
By Roch C. Smith. To be published by the University of South Carolina Press.

Other Web Pages with Robbe-Grillet Information

Mystfest '95: Un bruit qui rend fou
LVWorks: contains an opera based on Djinn
Berlin Film Festival (Frank Schlueter, Germany)
La Plage
Critical Inquiry, Volume 4, Number 1
The New Novel
NYU Department of French
Hypertext project based on The Erasers

Works by Catherine Robbe-Grillet

Catherine is Alain's wife. Here is a story about how I discovered her novels.
(1956) L'Image (The Image)
Written under the pseudonym Jean de Berg.
Originally published by Les Editions de Minuit. A cheaper version was more recently released by J'ai Lu.
English translation published in the US by Grove Press in 1967; it is now out of print.
Apparently another English version has been published in the UK by Nexus in 1995. The title is The Image and Other Classic French Stories of Submission, and the authors are listed as Jean de Berg along with Juan Muntaner.
Alain wrote the preface, under the pseudonym "P.R.", identified incorrectly in the Grove Press edition as Pauline Réage, the author of Story of O (to whom this novel is dedicated). See my story for more information.
(1985) Cérémonies de femmes (Women's Rites)
Written under the pseudonym Jeanne de Berg.
Published in France by Bernard Grasset.
English translation published in the US by Grove Press in 1987; it is now out of print.

This page is maintained by John Leo.