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The Novels of Roger Vailland

The Amateur and the Professional


Jo Ann McNatt

In addition to writing plays, film scripts, and thousands of newspaper articles, Roger Vailland published nine novels, beginning with Drôle de Jeu in 1945 and ending with La Truite in 1964. This study traces in these novels the changing view of the moral and social position of the amateur and the professional, especially in the fields of literature and journalism. The freedom of the uncommitted amateur is increasingly an unacceptable stance for the persona defined in and through the novels, each of which is, in part, a response to the inadequacies or inconsistencies of this stance as revealed by the previous novel. At the same time, the writing and publishing of novels becomes an intrinsic part of the self-definition and self-description taking place in the novels and as a result of them.
Contents: The Middle-Class Search for Place - The Active Witness - The World - The Novelist - The Self-in-the-World.