Thursday, September 01, 2005

"Tropism XV" by Nathalie Sarraute

A young woman encounters a much older man at a dinner party in this anecdotal episode. At first he seems to know everything about England and William Thackeray, but what a bore! Read by Scoot.

Along with Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute sought to recreate fiction writing with the nouveau roman. However, she wasn't really French by birth, but Russian, and had trained to be a lawyer, not a writer. Serraute nonetheless became an important fixture of twentieth-century French literature, much influenced by Proust and Woolf and praised by luminaries such as Sartre. This short piece is from her first book of stories, which she called "tropisms." She died at the age of 99 in 1999. Quite enough time to reinvent the novel several times!

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