Raymond Roussel, 1877–1933, French writer. Roussel was an eccentric whose beautifully written work employed hallucinatory imagery while eschewing emotion and the expression of personality. At first generally unappreciated, Roussel's writing—most notably, Impressions d'Afrique (1910) and How I Write Certain of My Books (1935, tr. 1971)—is now recognized as anticipating both surrealism and the nouveau roman [new novel] (see French literature).
See biography by M. Ford, Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams (2001); study by M. Foucault (1963, tr. 1987).