Picture of author.

Raymond Roussel (1877–1933)

Autor(a) de Locus Solus

52+ Works 1,445 Membros 13 Reviews 19 Favorited

About the Author

Eccentric writer Raymond Roussel was born in Paris, France in 1877. Although Roussel's works are very difficult to translate due to the complexity of their wordplay and his own attempts to translate them to the stage failed, he had a strong influence on a group of experimental Parisian writers mostrar mais known as OuLiPo, and on artists such as Salvador Dali and Marcel Duchamp. He died in Palermo, Italy in 1933. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: (from the back of an Italian edition of Impressions d'Afrique.)

Obras de Raymond Roussel

Locus Solus (1914) 561 cópias, 5 resenhas
Impressions of Africa (1910) 391 cópias, 4 resenhas
New Impressions of Africa (2004) 99 cópias, 2 resenhas
Among the Blacks: Two Works (1988) 27 cópias
La doublure (1977) 13 cópias
Teatro (1982) 7 cópias
L'Etoile au Front (1963) 6 cópias
La vue (2000) 6 cópias
Raymond Roussel (2019) 4 cópias
Chiquenaude (2010) 3 cópias
Oeuvres de Raymond Roussel (2012) 2 cópias
Nanon ; Chiquenaude (2016) 2 cópias
Oeuvres, tome 2 (1994) 2 cópias
Oeuvres théâtrales (1994) 2 cópias
Oeuvres 3 (1998) 1 exemplar(es)
額の星・無数の太陽 (2001) 1 exemplar(es)
Teatro 1 exemplar(es)
Der Anblick 1 exemplar(es)
Oeuvres 1 1 exemplar(es)
Die Allee der Leuchtkäfer (2015) 1 exemplar(es)
[1]: La doublure 1 exemplar(es)
Poussière de soleils 1 exemplar(es)
L'Étoile au Front 1 exemplar(es)
Épaves 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

Surrealist Painters and Poets: An Anthology (2001) — Contribuinte — 68 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Nome padrão
Roussel, Raymond
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de enterro
Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France
Local de nascimento
Paris, France
Local de falecimento
Palermo, Italy
Causa da morte
barbiturate overdose
Locais de residência
Paris, France
Paris Conservatoire



1914: Roussel - Locus Solus em Literary Centennials (Janeiro 2015)


I read this book as part of a challenge, otherwise it would never have made it onto my radar. The challenge was to find a book from Boxall's List of Books to Read Before You Die with less than 1000 ratings. This book fit the criteria.
This book is very strange. I began reading it from page 1 and found it to be incredibly boring as it was descriptions of events and spectacles in minutiae - rather like directions for repairing appliances. I returned to Goodreads to see what was going on and discovered that the book could be started at Chapter 10. I switched to that format and the book became a bit more interesting and linked what was in the first nine chapters with the persons from the second half of the book. When I returned to Chapter 2 to complete my reading, it was again boring, but it did make more sense.
So now I've added one more rating to this infrequently rated book. My rating did not raise the overall rating of this book because I found it tolerable and I liked it - only a little.
… (mais)
Kimberlyhi | outras 3 resenhas | Apr 15, 2023 |
Do I have a favorite poet? No. Do I really enjoy reading poetry that much? No. Do I think Raymond Roussel is a great poet? YES. I might not've answered YES before reading this bk.. but now I'm convinced. I'd previously been very impressed by his "The View" for reasons that're typical of me: THE IDEA OF IT: the idea of writing a long poem based on describing what the author can see reflected in the convex surface of a paperweight. This attn to detail, this amazing focus, this novel formal restriction. But, still, impressed as I was by "The View", it was possible to dismiss it somewhat as not enuf beyond the novelty. Not so w/ "New Impressions of Africa".

I'd been wanting to read this for many a yr. Then I read Eddie Watkins' excellent review & learned from it of the bk's availability. Hence I got it ASAP. But, THEN, I had to READ it.. - & this was a slow process. Anyone knowing that Roussel's "Impressions of Africa" was a novel might expect something entitled "New Impressions of Africa" to be a sequel - &, perhaps in Roussel's mind it was.. but the connection between the 2 wd be highly abstract indeed.

Roussel's writing is procedural, proto-OuLiPoian - formal restrictions channel the content in ways unlikely to be traveled by other means. &, in some cases, this may seem TOO forced. Here, it seems.. 'perfect'. The writing seems to me to be a panoramic view of reality from the perspective of a constantly cross-referencing human encyclopedia. A human encyclopedia w/ a sense of humor, wise, even.

In the main body of the text, after the Introduction, the TOPS of the pages are uncut. Enclosed w/in these sealed sections are deliberately conventional illustrations that Roussel solicited anonymously so that the artist wdn't create them knowing he was doing so for Roussel. The reader is encouraged in the introduction to leave these pages uncut. In the poem on p125 there's this:

"Opening a crib's white drapes, for two uncut
Pages when prised apart; angles that jut"

& then on the following pages (enclosed by their tops uncut) there's Roussel's illustration instruction on the left:

"A man sitting by a table on which a book is positioned
vertically; he is prising apart two uncut pages to read a

- opposite wch text is an illustration of this. HOWEVER, the illustrator has pictured this so that the man is looking DOWN onto the uncut top rather than into its recess. This seems sloppy to me on the part of the illustrator but perhaps it's not, perhaps the illustrator is showing the uncut fold as part of the content. At any rate, what we have here is a newborn baby of a bk, enclosed in "a crib's white drapes". Roussel has prised apart his mind & loosed language full of surprise & history & PERSONALITY - & this latter is what surprised me the most. Take this passage:

"The prude's eye dodges, for the red behind
Of a whipped rascal; - the bead left behind
On a snapped rosary, for an old convict
Dragging a ball and chain; - a boil when pricked
And liquid flows out; not a water-skin
Pierced basely in the desert; - in a spin,
A masted ship blown whichways in a storm,
For a teetotum, - the red rhomboid form,
Of poison-warning sign's on a flask's label"

Instead of having the content close w/ each rhyme completed, Roussel propels it all forward w/ a sortof restlessness of constant change, a fluidity of meaning that metamorphoses its degrees of viscosity. Bravo!

& the translation by Ian Monk must certainly be highly praised too!!
… (mais)
tENTATIVELY | 1 outra resenha | Apr 3, 2022 |
I'm joyously astounded to see how many people've read this on GoodReads! I'm fond of saying that Roussel was the greatest Surrealist writer WITHOUT ever having been a Surrealist (despite the promotional labelling of this bk as "French Surrealism" on the cover of the edition I have). Each individual scene in the tour of the main character Martial Canterel's Locus Solus has more imagination than most entire novels do. Just the way in wch the mural of multi-colored teeth is made is worth the price of admission into Roussel's world. Roussel was, of course, widely lambasted in his time & eventually committed suicide. So much for the famous French pride in its clever literature.… (mais)
tENTATIVELY | outras 4 resenhas | Apr 3, 2022 |
The first third or so of this book is a long series of fantastic theatrical, pseudo-scientific and artistic events performed for an african king. The extraordinary tableau's march past in excruciatingly specific detail in the literary equivalent of a dull monotone.
It was one of the dullest and most painful reading experiences i have had in quite some time.
The rest of the work is a flashback which explains each of the previous scenes you didn't care about. The convoluted sequence of events with numerous tangents, is at least mildly engaging in places.
Overall some of the details are at least interesting if not the delivery but 2 stars still feels like i'm being generous.
… (mais)
wreade1872 | outras 3 resenhas | Nov 28, 2021 |



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