The Sibyl is the Muse of the nouveau roman. Her delight in unintelligible messages and verbal confusion nourishes one of the central concerns of the nouveaux romanciers, namely the impossibility of attaining a final meaning. This is indicated most clearly in La Modification by the image of the crackling loudspeakers. In the novels of Claude Simon the word at war is a still more disruptive and disturbing element. Like Butor, Simon is preoccupied by the issues of memory and of the boundaries of fiction and personal lived experience. His novel La Bataille de Pharsale (1969) denies the reader the possibility of following a coherent, linear storyline. The very circularity of its form displays this impossibility. The same phrase which opens the novel is used again to close it: the book ends with a description of the writer starting to write it. Simon thus demonstrates the elusiveness of the text: it is only once it is read that one discovers that within its fictional world it has not yet been written.