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New Fiction

  New Fiction was a new approach to writing a novel, which emerged in France in the late 1950s at much the same time as New Wave cinema. Its chief writers were Michel Butor, Alain Robbe-Grillet and Nathalie Sarraute. Their aim was to abandon the methods of older fiction (such as consecutive narrative, orderly characterization and above all authorial and ‘philosophical’ comment), and to produce a new fiction suitable for a new age. For the general reader, the avantgarde techniques in their work (for instance, dislocated narrative, obsessive attention to apparently trivial or inconsequential details, a feeling of life as ritual or charade) ally it both to the theatre of the absurd (Samuel Beckett\'s and Jean Genet\'s works, including their novels, are major influences) and to the films of such men as Godard and Resnais. Apart from those mentioned, the finest French New Wave novelist is Marguerite Duras. Outside France—and despite the growth of new criticism in universities everywhere—there are few thoroughgoing exponents, though writers as far apart as Jorge Luis Borges, Lawrence Durrell and Günter Grass use some of the new novelists\' techniques. KMcL  



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