Hortense is Abducted

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Dalkey Archive Press, 2000 - Fiction - 229 pages
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The second installment in Roubaud's popular and widely acclaimed "Hortense" series opens with a murder of a dog at the Church of Sainte-Gudule. Chief Inspector Blognard and his sidekick Arapède are on the scene, as is our narrator, Jacques Roubaud. While they track down the Poldevian criminal, teenage girls argue the relative merits of the boy bands Dew-Pon, Dew-Val, and Landau Valley, Père Sinouls tries to program a computer to take his place at the organ so that he can continue to practice Beeranalysis, and the clientele of the Gudule Bar debate the reality of Infinity

Time is running out for the Inspector, however, as the murderer puts into action his plot to kidnap our heroine Hortense, a 22-year-old philosophy student whose buttocks are so beautiful their description has been banned from the printed page.

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Hortense Is Abducted

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Roubaud followed up his initial Hortense release with this farce (published here in 1989) in which the police try to foil the plot to kidnap the title character. LJ's reviewer commented that "those ... Read full review

Hortense is abducted

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Those who decide to read this book on a bus or train should be forewarned: uncontrollable bursts of laughter will seize you at any time! Roubaud, who by profession teaches mathematics, is a member ... Read full review

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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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