Poetry. What can one say of Pinget, as he comes through in Miss Wright's loving translations, except that he conveys, amid much wilful murk, an impression of integrity, intelligence and power? -- John Updike. Having translated thirteen earlier works by Pinget, Barbara Wright has much to say about this important personage of contemporary French letters, and appends a useful afterword to this volume: TRACES OF INK is Robert Pinget's last published book. It came out in the spring of 1997, and was followed that summer by a colloquium in Tours celebrating every aspect of his work; this was a happy, successful occasion which Pinget much enjoyed. Only a month later, though, he had a stroke and died. It is fitting that Pinget's last work is written in a notebook form, his signature genre despite his writing of both novels and plays. Pinget helps us to stay alive and sustain our own enquiry -- Barbara Wright, (Afterword).
Robert Pinget was born in Geneva on July 19, 1919. After the Second World War, he moved to Paris and studied painting under Jean Souverbie. Although he had some modest success with painting, he soon turned his attention to writing. In the mid- fifties, Pinget befriended Samuel Beckett who introduced him to the editors at Editions Minuit; they were to publish his novel Graal Filibuste (1956) and subsequently the rest of his work. In addition to novels, many of which are available in English from Red Dust, all superbly translated by Barbara Wright, Pinget also wrote plays for the stage and the radio. Pinget has long been associated with the Nouveau Roman mainly because the authors under that banner shared a similar apolitical worldview; many shared the same publisher (Editions Minuit), and all held the plot driven structure of the traditional novel in contempt. Reductive associations aside, Pinget was a truly singular voice; his writing celebrates and explores language backed with an exquisite use of dialog and a warm and deeply reflective sense of parody. He died in Tours on August 25, 1997 at age 78.Author City: TOURAINE FRA