Mobile

Front Cover
Dalkey Archive Press, 1963 - Fiction - 319 pages
2 Reviews

Considered by many to be his greatest book, Michel Butor's "Mobile" is the result of the six months the author spent traveling across America. The text is composed from a wide range of materials, including city names, road signs, advertising slogans, catalog listings, newspaper accounts of the 1893 World's Fair, Native American writings, and the history of the Freedomland theme park.

Butor weaves bits and pieces from these diverse sources into a collage resembling an abstract painting (the book is dedicated to Jackson Pollock) or a patchwork quilt that by turns is both humorous and quite disturbing. This travelogue captures -- in both a textual and visual way -- the energy and contradictions of American life and history.

  

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Review: Mobile

User Review  - Anthony - Goodreads

perhaps the baby brother of stein's "making of americans". it isn't really a fiction. it isn't quite a history. it is what it calls itself: a "representation" of the united states. so here it is then, on paper. Read full review

Review: Mobile

User Review  - stephen - Goodreads

lovely. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
8
Section 2
9
Section 3
11
Section 4
14
Section 5
23
Section 6
27
Section 7
29
Section 8
37
Section 14
143
Section 15
147
Section 16
153
Section 17
157
Section 18
159
Section 19
160
Section 20
178
Section 21
250

Section 9
109
Section 10
123
Section 11
125
Section 12
127
Section 13
141
Section 22
295
Section 23
311
Section 24
325
Section 25
326
Copyright

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About the author (1963)

Michel Butor's early education was with the Jesuits, and he subsequently received degrees from the Sorbonne in philosophy. His thesis for his diplome d'etudes superieures was titled Mathematics and the Idea of Necessity. He has taught in Egypt, England, and Greece as well as in the United States. He is currently a professor of literature at the University of Geneva. Although technically and intellectually challenging, Butor's work has enjoyed considerable general popularity. A Change of Heart (1959) was awarded the Prix Theophraste Renaudot, one of the major French literary prizes, in 1957 and put Butor before the general public. The subject of his novels is consciousness, frequently presented in the form of an interior monologue and described in painstaking detail. Critics consider Degrees (1960) a complex novel that provides a brilliant picture of the perennial schoolboy-and the perennial teacher. Butor has also written a number of stereoscopies, or works on different levels in which the reader must participate actively. His literary and art criticism are contained in Repertoire I to IV and Illustrations I to IV respectively.

Richard Howard was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 13, 1929. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1951 and studied at the Sorbonne as a Fellow of the French Government in 1952-1953. He briefly worked as a lexicographer, but soon turned his attention to poetry and poetic criticism. His works include Trappings: New Poems; Like Most Revelations: New Poems; Selected Poems; No Traveler; Findings; Alone with America; and Quantities. He won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1969 for Untitled Subjects. He is also a translator and published more than 150 translations from the French. He received the PEN Translation Prize in 1976 for his translation of E. M. Cioran's A Short History of Decay and the American Book Award for his 1983 translation of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal. In 1982, he was named a Chevalier of L'Ordre National du Mérite by the government of France. He teaches in the Writing Division of the School of the Arts, Columbia University.

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