—Ryan Ruby, Lapham’s Quarterly
[H]e was a seminal influence on surrealism, Dadaism, the nouveau roman, and the Oulipo….Roussel could have attempted to go the way of a popular writer like Rostand or of an avant-garde writer like Breton, but, both admirably and foolishly, he remained Roussel to the end.
—Seth Satterlee, Publishers Weekly
Originally published in 1914, Roussel’s extraordinary novel still feels fresh more than a hundred years later… Both a guide to a deranged scientist’s estate and a prism for refracting Roussel’s diverse stories, this incredible novel is somehow both Gothic and modern at the same time.
Raymond Roussel’s works immediately absorbed me: I was taken by the prose style even before learning what was behind it—the process, the machines, the mechanisms—and no doubt when I discovered his process and his techniques, the obsessional side of me was seduced a second time by the shock of learning the disparity between this methodically applied process, which was slightly naive, and the resulting intense poetry.
Genius in its pure state. The Proust of dreams.
There is hidden in Roussel something so strong, so ominous, and so pregnant with the darkness of the ‘infinite spaces’ that frightened Pascal, that one feels the need for some sort of protective equipment when one reads him.