In the course of a writing career spanning half a century, Michel Butor has produced a remarkable range and volume of publications, including fiction, travel works, poetry, critical essays and various types of mixed-genre works which resist ready categorisation. Much of this very diverse oeuvre is marked by his life-long passion for the visual arts. This study is the first full-length analysis of the role played by the references to the visual, plastic and architectural arts in Butor's work. It addresses a wide range of issues including the role of the artwork, building or monument as narrative generator; the reflexive functions of the visual and architectural references; the interaction between visual/architectural references and intertextual citation; the role of collaboration in Butor's oeuvre; the relationship between cultural baggage and the workings of the unconscious; the tension between Butor's fascination for non-European artistic traditions and his continuing dialogue with the Western tradition.
AcknowledgementsList of IllustrationsIntroduction1. Unfulfilled, Incomplete and Indefinitely Deferred: Desire and Art in Butor and Duchamp2. High and Low Culture in L'Emploi du temps3. Art, Architecture and Catholicism in La Modification4. Illustration, Edification and Delusion in Degres5. Beyond Words: Collage, Collaboration, Text and ImageConclusionSelect BibliographyIndex