Impressions of Africa
The first of Roussel’s two major prose works, Impressions of Africa is not, as the title may suggest, a conventional travel account, but an adventure story put together in a highly individual fashion and with an unusual time sequence, whereby the reader is even made to choose whether to begin with the first or the tenth chapter.
A veritable literary melting pot, Roussel’s groundbreaking text makes ample use of wordplay and the surrealist techniques of automatic writing and private allusion.
An imagination which joins the mathematician’s delirium to the poet’s logic – this, among other marvels, is what one discovers in the novels of Raymond Roussel.
Raymond Roussel (1877–1933) was a French poet, novelist, playwright, musician, chess enthusiast, neurasthenic and drug addict. Through his novels, poems and plays he exerted a profound influence on certain groups within 20th-century French literature, including the Surrealists, Oulipo and the authors of the Nouveau Roman.