Hortense in Exile

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Dalkey Archive Press, Nov 1, 2000 - Fiction - 211 pages
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Set to marry Gormanskoï, the Premier Prince Presumptive, our beautiful heroine Hortense has been exiled to Queneau'stown, where she finds herself in a real-life production of Hamlet -- or is it Hatmel, the original Poldevian tale scandalously plagiarized by that Englishman William Shahkayspear? Something is definitely amiss in the Poldevian Principalities, and if her loyal friends can't rescue her or foil the plagiarized plots of her evil twin, she may require intervention from the Author and Publisher -- those unlikely cohorts responsible for bringing this deftly satiric, madcap adventure to light.

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About the author (2000)

Jacques Roubaud (born 1932 in Caluire-et-Cuire, Rhône) is a French poet and mathematician, and a member of the Oulipo group. He has also published poetry, plays, novels, and translated English poetry and books into French such as Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark.

Roubaud's fiction often suppresses the rigorous constraints of the Oulipo (while mentioning their suppression, thereby indicating that such constraints are indeed present), yet takes the Oulipian self-consciousness of the writing act to an extreme. This simultaneity both appears playfully, with his Hortense novels, Our Beautiful Heroine, Hortense in Exile, and Hortense is Abducted, and with the gravity and reflection of the writing act as the affirmation of one's worth and existence in The Great Fire of London, considered the pinnacle of his prose.

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