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How I Wrote Certain Of My Books Paperback – August 15, 2005
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Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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1) This book is a big grab-bag of Roussel material. It contains long excerpts from his two big novels, and from his poetry, and so on. There's plenty of annotations.
2) It also includes Roussel's essay about his method, wherein he describes how he composed some of his books. That essay is called "How I Wrote Certain of My Books", and the publisher misleadingly chose that as the name of this whole book.
3) But it goes beyond being a mere sampler, because some of the pieces have never before appeared in English. Especially the best piece, "Documents to Serve as an Outline", which is fully narrated over 80 pages, and is NOT an outline at all, so don't be scared.
If you want to dive in to Roussel with a full-length work, you should find Cunningham's translation of Locus Solus and read that first. It's very hard to come across unless your library has over 25 floors, which mine did.
Personally I would have paid the $15 entry price here even if the only thing included was the fantastic "Documents To Serve As An Outline." You cannot find this piece anywhere else in English, unlike the novels, and it's the best part of the "How I Wrote" package. I know the title "Documents To Serve As An Outline" doesn't sound very entertaining, but rest assured that it is fully narrated, not an outline, and that it's incredible. Apparently Roussel would have expanded it if he had lived longer.
A lot of the publicity material surrounding Roussel's work is misleading, in that it makes his style sound radical or experimental. The professional review on Amazon.Read more ›