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Escarpit, Robert

Entry updated 31 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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(1918-2000) French academic, Information Theory pioneer, author, and journalist known for satirical pieces in such magazines as Le Monde, Le Matin and Sud-Quest. He is of sf interest for Le littératron; roman picaresque (1964; trans Peter Green as The Novel Computer: A Picaresque Novel 1966), a Satire centred on the Invention of a literary Computer – or rather, a software-cum-database system which analyses language. Suitably primed, this "Literatron" (see Wordmills) proves capable of generating monstrously banal yet election-winning Political platforms, bestselling novels (one wins the National Literary Prize) and even Comic strips. The satire is primarily directed at a research grants system which, it is argued, prioritizes "sexy" and publicity-generating projects over potentially useful ones.

Further works by Escarpit include 1980s children's books [not listed below] illustrated by himself. [DRL]

Robert Escarpit

born Saint-Macaire, France: 24 April 1918

died Langon, France: 19 November 2000

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