in the UK
Crime fiction is a popular target for literary pastiche in France. From the nouveau roman and the Oulipo group to the current avant-garde, writers have seized on the genre to exploit it for their own ends, toying with its traditional plots and characters, and exploring its preoccupations with perception, reason and truth. In the first full-length study of the phenomenon, Simon Kemp's investigation centres on four major writers of the twentieth century, Alain Robbe-Grillet (b. 1922), Michel Butor (b. 1926), Georges Perec (193682) and Jean Echenoz (b. 1947). Out of their varied encounters with the genre, from deconstruction of the classic detective story to homage to the roman noir, Kemp elucidates the complex relationship between the pasticheur and his target, which demands an entirely new assessment of pastiche as a literary form.