Casting the Novel References to Actors in the Work of Jean Echenoz Lucas Hollister J'ai le tic de parler comme si je faisais du cinéma, mais d'une certaine manière j'ai quelquefois l'impression d'en faire.1 --Jean Echenoz Although many scholars have remarked upon the importance of cinema in Jean Echenoz's oeuvre, relatively little attention has been paid to the numerous references to film actors in his novels.2 This is somewhat surprising given the abundance of such references in Echenoz's fiction, and the ways in which they inflect his appropriation of the stylistic and thematic features of popular novelistic genres. Describing a character by means of a reference to a popular actor is, after all, a common practice in late-twentieth-century crime fiction. While this operation has a variety of potential uses, the most conventional instrumentalization of references to actors involves the supposition that they help readers "visualize" characters. When, for example, the narrator of one of Didier Daeninckx's stories says of a character that "elle ressemblait à Adjani jeune" (Daeninckx 41), this description invites the reader to visualize that character with the features of the well-known actress Isabelle Adjani. At the other end of the literary spectrum, when Alain Robbe-Grillet's
French Forum – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 17, 2015
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