Raymond Roussel: New Impressions of Africa

Babushka doll

William Heyward


New Impressions of Africa: Nouvelles Impressions d’Afrique
by Raymond Roussel (translated by Mark Ford)
Princeton University Press (Footprint Books), $47.95 hb, 253 pp, 9780691144597


Like all of his earlier books, Raymond Roussel’s final work, New Impressions of Africa, published in 1932, was printed at his personal expense, and only after he was satisfied that the poem was as good as possible. He claimed that each line took fifteen hours to compose. Roussel wanted his work to have enduring importance, and wrote a book entitled How I Wrote Certain of My Books to help readers who might otherwise misunderstand his method (it appeared in 1935, two years after his suicide). Roussel, thanks to his vast inherited wealth, was a writer who answered to no one and nothing, except his own inimitable vision.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

William Heyward

William Heyward

William Heyward is a writer and bookseller living in Melbourne.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.