TOPOLOGY OF A PHANTOM CITY • Alain Robbe-Grillet
Grove/Calder / 1977
Paperback / 142 pages

This book was hailed as “a masterful creation” by French reviewers who see it as marking an important new stage in the development of the famous founder of the “new novel.” Here the reader is cast in the role of archeologist digging through the various strata of a city in rubble, each level yielding clues to a mysterious bloody death, but recounted and remembered in many different ways. The murder is that of a lovely young girl, her naked body stained with a viscous red liquid. Was she murdered upon a stone altar in a ritual sacrifice? Or perhaps gang-raped by plundering soldiers? Robbe-Grillet treats it all as a kind of intellectual detective story, complete with silent assassins robed in black, flashing ornate stilettos, in which the reader becomes a collaborator in the solution of a crime as much of his own creation as it is the author’s. 

︎ Condition note: A used book in Good condition / rubbing to covers / edgewear / shelfwear / some staining to page corners and edges / Text is free of underlining or interior marks / Front and back flaps curling back slightly