Front Cover
Dalkey Archive Press, 2004 - Fiction - 319 pages

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.


Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 20
Section 21

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Michel Butor was born near Lille, France on September 14, 1926. He studied philosophy and literature before becoming a teacher and working mainly abroad in Egypt, England, Greece, and the United States. He built a multi-faceted body of work that included books, essays, and poems. His books include A Change of Heart, Mobile, Degrees, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ape: A Caprice, and Frontiers. La Modification (Second Thoughts) won the Renaudot Prize. His literary and art criticism are contained in Repertoire I to IV and Illustrations I to IV respectively. He died on August 24, 2016 at the age of 89. Michel Butor (1926) est l'auteur d'une oeuvre considerable de plus de six cents livres, parmi lesquels des romans, notamment"La Modification"(prix Renaudot, 1957), des recueil de poesies, dont le fameux "Travaux d'approche"(1972), de nombreux essais, comme"Improvisations sur Flaubert"(1989) et"Improvisations sur Rimbaud" (1989). Il est le dernier grand representant de l'ecole du Nouveau Roman. 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.

Bibliographic information