Pierre Alferi’s “Allofiction”: A Poetics of the Controlled Skid


Since the 1980s (a decade fruitful to revisit) the neo-novelistic revolution and experimental écriture textuelle launched by groups like Tel Quel and Change have been exhausted. It is once again possible to tell a story, even to recount oneself, and “outdated notions” of personhood, chronology, mankind, narrative, psychology, history, etc. (Robbe-Grille, 1963) are quietly coming to the fore again. This transformation, which formerly would have been associated with postmodernism, sometimes takes very idiosyncratic forms. The explosion of autofictional literature, a hybrid between autobiographical testimony and novelistic invention launched by Serge Doubrovsky in his book Fils (1977), is proving to be one of the most durable variations of this. For reasons due in part to the amnesia of contemporary culture, this actually hypertraditional form (isn’t the art of the novel precisely that of the mask, the trap, the game of the elusive boundary between lie and truth?) has been able to pass itself off as a novelty, and its success, at least in commercial terms, continues to our day.

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