Enfance

ISBN-10: 0226922316

ISBN-13: 9780226922317

Edition: 2013

List price: $24.00
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Description: As one of the leading proponents of thenouveau roman, Nathalie Sarraute is often remembered for her novels, includingThe Golden Fruits, which earned her the Prix international de litterature in 1964. But her carefully crafted and evocative memoirChildhoodmay in fact be Sarraute’s most accessible and emotionally open work. Written when the author was eighty-three years old, but dealing with only the first twelve years of her life,Childhoodis constructed as a dialogue between Sarraute and her memory. Sarraute gently interrogates her interlocutor in search of her own intentions, more precise accuracy, and indeed, the truth. Her relationships with her mother in Russia and her stepmother in Paris are especially heartbreaking: long-gone actions are prodded and poked at by Sarraute until they yield some semblance of fact, imbuing these maternalistic interactions with new, deeper meaning. Each vignette is bristling with detail and shows the power of memory through prose by turns funny, sad, and poetic. Capturing the ambience of Paris and Russia in the earliest part of the twentieth century, while never giving up the lyrical style of Sarraute’s novels, this book has much to offer both memoir enthusiasts and fiction lovers.

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Book details

List price: $24.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 3/15/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

Nathalie Sarraute has been an eloquent spokesperson and theorist of the new novel, as well as one of its most talented practitioners. In her essay on the art of fiction, The on The Age of Suspicion (1956), she condemned the techniques used in the novel of the past and took a stand beside Robbe-Grillet as a leader of the avant-garde. The novel, she feels, must express "that element of indetermination, of opacity, and mystery that one's own actions always have for the one who lives them." Her works have now become known to an international public. Her ability to render fleeting awareness and the psychological states underlying articulate speech has won both praise and disdain. Janet Flanner has called Sarraute "the only one among the New Novel experimenters who appears finally to have struck her own style---intense, observational, and personal." Of her novels, The Golden Fruits (1963)---about the Paris literary fortunes of an imaginary novel of the same name---is "the most barren of extraneous decor, the most accomplished from the standpoint of her esthetic aims" (SRSR). Tropisms (1939), her earliest (very brief) book, contains "all the raw material I have continued to develop in my later works." Her "tropisms," she says, are instinctive "sensations," or even "movements," "produced in us by the presence of others, or by objects from the outside world. [They hide] beneath the most commonplace conversations and the most everyday gestures." She regards her novels as composed of a series of tropisms of varying intensity.

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