Books: Unlucky Pierres

DEGREES (351 pp.)—Michel Butor—Simon & Schuster ($5.50).

Today's most self-consciously revolutionary fiction is the alitérature (non-literature) written by the so-called "anti-novelists" of France. Man is no longer viewed as an actor on the stage of life but as a microorganism, or atom, reacting to obscure laws of physics and biochemistry. Leaders of this movement are Nathalie Sarraute, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Marguerite Duras and Michel Butor, whose new book, Degrees, is perhaps the most complex anti-novel to date. For, by some mysterious aliterary law, the more schematic and mechanistic an author's view of life, the more complicated and device-ridden his style.

A page of Degrees...

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