He studied philosophy at the Sorbonne , graduating in Journalists and critics have associated his novels with the nouveau roman , but Butor himself long resisted that association. The main point of similarity is a very general one, not much beyond that; like exponents of the nouveau roman, he can be described as an experimental writer. For decades, he chose to work in other forms, from essays to poetry to artist's books  to unclassifiable works like Mobile. Part of the fascination of his writing is the way it combines the rigorous symmetries that led Roland Barthes to praise him as an epitome of structuralism exemplified, for instance, by the architectural scheme of Passage de Milan or the calendrical structure of L'emploi du temps with a lyrical sensibility more akin to Baudelaire than to Robbe-Grillet.
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La modification de michel butor (fiche de lecture)
And then things got more confusing, and more intriguing. Bleston, which stands in for Manchester specifically and as the archetypal northern industrial city in the novel, is both recognisable and realistically described street names and bus timetables and also a fantastical place, a monster, a labyrinth. Michel Butor is often labelled as part of the nouveau roman group, which was never actually a group and of which he never felt he was a part.
As with his previous novels, the structure of this novel is very precise. It is divided into three sections, each with three chapters. The setting of the novel is clearly delimited as in the earlier novels. Delmont is the head of a French agency for Scabelli, an Italian typewriter firm, and frequently travels to Rome. He is married to Henriette and they have four children and live in Paris.