Readers of the contemporary vel in France are witnessing the most astonishing reinvigoration of narrative prose since the New Novel of the 1950s. In the last few years, bold, invative, and richly compelling vels have been written by a variety of young writers. These texts question traditional strategies of character, plot, theme, and message; and they demand new strategies of reading, too. Choosing ten vels published during the 1990s as examples of that trend, Warren Motte traces the resurgence of the vel in France. He argues that each of the vels under consideration here, quite apart from what other stories it tells, presents a fable of the vel that deals with the genre's possibilities, limitations, and future as a cultural form.
Warren Motte is a Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Colorado. He is the author of The Poetics of Experiment: A Study of the Work of Georges Perec, Questioning Edmond Jabes, Playtexts: Ludics in Contemporary Literature, and Small Worlds. He also edited a recent issue of SubStance dedicated to the work of Jacques Jouet.