Alain Robbe-Grillet: August 1922 - February 2008
Despite the turmoil of events that have occurred around me recently (as I've mentioned before, I attend Northern Illinois University which was recently the site of a school shooting on Valentines day) I find myself most affected (in a totally selfish way) by the death of filmmaker and author (among other things), Alain Robbe-Grillet.
I discovered Alain Robbe-Grillet on a whim after seeing Last Year at Marienbad six or seven years ago. After watching more Alain Resnais films I came to the realization that it wasn't Resnais' work that had hit me so hard about the film, but rather Robbe-Grillet's script. This eventually led to me seeking out his novels and films, which I devoured and loved.
I have a lot to say about the man, as his films and books have been a constant source of both awe and inspiration over the years, but I just wanted to drop a quick note expressing my, well, sadness (though that word doesn't contextually seem to be the best fit) over his death. He had recently completely a novel (A Sentimental Novel) that had been a source of controversy in France, and hasn't seen an English translation yet (which is no suprise, considering there are still large chunks of his oeuvre that have yet to see the light of day in English accessible options; namely, most of his filmography as director, 2/3s of his "autobiographical" written trilogy, his collaboration with Irina Ionesco [the text of which was admittedly worked into some of his intertextual novels], and more), but I look forward to reading it whenever I get the opportunity.
His work has forced me to think about narrative in a way that I undoubtedly would have taken a longer time to come across; and his visual-textual collaborations have been particularly pertinent to the development of my own work.
Though I suppose it sounds trite to say, maybe every cloud does have a silver lining, and the death of a great artist will bring enough attention that hopefully more of his work (his films especially) will become available for a larger audience so more people can understand what it is that I personally find so utterly amazing.