The Great Fire of London: A Story with Interpolations and Bifurcations

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Dalkey Archive Press, 2006 - Fiction - 328 pages
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Part novel, part autobiography, The Great Fire of London is one of the great literary undertakings of our time. Both exasperating and moving, cherished by its readers, it has its origins in the author's attempt to come to terms with the death of his young wife Alix, whose presence both haunts and gives meaning to every page. Having failed to write his intended novel (The Great Fire of London), instead Roubaud creates a book that is about that failure, but in the process opens up the world of the creative process. This novel stands as a lyrical counterpart of the great postmodern masterpieces by fellow Oulipians Georges Perec and Italo Calvino. First published by Dalkey Archive Press in 1991, now available again.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - slickdpdx - LibraryThing

Robaud's effort to preserve his memories as prose; eliminating them as memories. A memoir with digressions, like something Sebald or Marias might write. It started slow. As it went on, the good parts ... Read full review

THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON: A Story with Interpolations and Bifurcations

User Review  - Kirkus

Quasi-autobiographical antinovel with an infinity of self- reflexive notes for a never-written novel that doesn't get written here either; by a French professor of mathematics. Pynchon's Gravity's ... Read full review


The Chain
Portrait of the Absent Artist
Dream Decision Project
Nothing Doing in London
from Chapter 1
from Chapter 2
from Chapter 3
from Chapter 5
from Chapter 6
Ornamental Hermit
A Boston Romance
Fifteen Minutes at Night

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About the author (2006)

Jacques Roubaud is one of France's most important contemporary writers. He has published poetry, criticism, drama, and fiction, including the novels in his Hortense series and the several autobiographical volumes continuing the The Great Fire of London project, including The Loop and Mathematics: A Novel. A prominent member of the Oulipo, he taught mathematics for many years at the Université Paris X Nanterre. He is also a prolific translator from English, having produced French versions of such classics as Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark and Edward Gorey's The Utter Zoo.

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