My next book, La Réticence (1991), was written entirely in response to Camera. Critics had talked a lot about how light and virtuoso Camera was; I wanted to move away from such virtuosity, I wanted to break it apart. La Réticence is a difficult, demanding, tough book, it’s harsh and sometimes unpolished. I wrote this book trying to keep in mind a secret guideline, a Beckettian one, the one that says: “badly seen, badly expressed,” and I tried to fail to see things and to fail to say them (and I succeeded in doing so, I must say, if the reaction of the media and readers is any indication).
Jean-Philippe Toussaint, interview, originally published in the 2nd edition of Caméra, Editions de Minuit, now translated at the Dalkey Archive (ht woods lot)