Hortense in Exile by Jacques Roubaud

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"There's something rotten in the Poldevian Principalities!" writes our beautiful heroine, Hortense, to her (and our) old redheaded friends, Laurie and Carlotta, from the faraway land of her fianc, Prince Gormanskoi. "That dumb airhead has gone and landed herself in Hamlet," Laurie concludes. Or is it, in reality, Hatmel, the original Poldevian tale scandalously plagiarized by that British author?

But what's a poor fictional heroine to do, trapped in a foreign land that's actually six identical coexisting worlds? Will Blognard and Arapede, our intrepid investigators vacationing in Poldevia, rescue Hortense once again? Will Cyrandzoi, the Pony Prince, and Alexandre Vladimirovitch, the Cat Prince, be able to foil dastardly plagiarized plots of the hero's evil twin? Will even the intervention of the Publisher himself rescue us from the Author's tangled web? Perhaps the mysterious gentleman "tall, bald, distinguished, beaming with intelligence," in a ripped pullover and worn corduroy trousers, strangely reminiscent of a certain Jacques Roubaud, will come through in the nick of time? Or will Hortense, forlorn in exile, fall victim to the machinations recounted in the Author's deftly satiric, madcap prose? Finally, was Kant's Critique of Pure Reason actually stolen from the work of the great American philosopher Margaret Mitchell? Only readers of Hortense in Exile will know for sure.

 

About Jacques Roubaud

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Jacques Roubaud, born in 1932, has been a professor of mathematics at the University of Paris X Nanterre. He is one of the most accomplished members of the Oulipo, the workshop for experimental literature founded by Raymond Queneau and Francois Le Lionnais. He is the author of numerous books of prose, theatre and poetry. Keith Waldrop, Brooke Russell Astor Professor of Humanities at Brown University, has published more than a dozen works each of original poetry and translations. His first book, A Windmill Near Calvary, was shortlisted for the 1968 National Book Award. Other books include The Real Subject: Queries and Conjectures of Jacob Delafon, with Sample Poems, The House Seen from Nowhere, and a translation of The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire. Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Germany and has lived in the United States since 1958. The author and translator of dozens of books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, she is the co-founder and co- publisher of Burning Deck Press. Waldrop's many honors include being named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, fellowships from the NEA, the Fund for Poetry, and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. In 2006 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
 
Published July 28, 1992 by Dalkey Archive Press. 211 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Flippant, post-Calvino novel about, or not about, a near- pornographic heroine named Hortense, by French mathematics professor Roubaud (The Great Fire of London, 1991).

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