The Crab Nebula

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The Crab Nebula (La Nébuleuse du crabe) is comprised of fifty-two vivid chapters that provide startling insights into the existence of this nebulous man named Crab: his nightmarish—and none too solid—physique, his mysterious absence from the pages of history, his birth in prison, his never having been born at all. In his portrait of Crab, Éric Chevillard gives us a character who is genuinely strange and curiously like ourselves. A postmodernist novel par excellence, The Crab Nebula parodies literary conventions, deconstructs narrative and meaning, and brilliantly combines absurdity and hopelessness with irony and humor. What distinguishes it most of all is the startling originality of Chevillard’s voice and vision. There is whimsy and despair in this novel, pathos and laughter, satire and warm affection. The Crab Nebula is the fifth novel—and the first to be translated into English—by the brilliant young French author Éric Chevillard. His sympathetic yet outrageous portrait of Crab calls to mind works by Melville, Valéry, and Kafka, while never being less than utterly unique.

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University of Nebraska Press
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