Sarraute, Nathalie(nätälē` särōt`), 1900–1999, French novelist, b. Ivanovo, Russia, as Natasha Tcherniak; studied at the Sorbonne and Oxford. A lawyer, she joined (1925) a Paris firm. She began writing in the early 1930s. Stark and revolutionary in technique, Sarraute's nouveaux romans [new novels] Tropismes (1939, tr. 1967) and Portrait d'un inconnu (1949, tr. 1958) were brought to public attention by Jean-Paul Sartre. Sometimes termed "antinovels," they are stripped of the traditional elements of plot, characterization, and chronology and instead focus upon psychological preoccupations, giving subconscious impulses surrealistic and analytic treatment. Her later novels, Martereau (1953), Le Planétarium (1959, tr. 1960), Do You Hear Them? (1972, tr. 1973), and Here (1995, tr. 1997), show some compromise with traditional form. Sarraute's essays on the novel were published in Age of Suspicion (1956, tr. 1963).
See her autobiography, Childhood (1973, tr. 1984).
(née Cherniak). Born July 18, 1900, in Ivanovo-Voznesensk. French writer.
Sarraute has lived in France since 1907. She graduated from the faculties of philology and law of the University of Paris. One of the creators of the “new novel,” Sarraute has written Portrait of a Man Unknown (1948), Martereau (1953), The Planetarium (1959), The Golden Fruits (1963; Russian translation, 1969), and Between Life and Death (1968). She contrasts poetical and highly metaphorical descriptions of what she calls “tropisms”—preconscious, unverbalized psychological impulses—with impoverished, stereotyped dialogue. Sarraute strives to re-create “psychological substance,” free of social and personal identity. In theoretical articles collected in her book The Age of Suspicion (1956), she justifies the renunciation of heroes, chronology, and plot, citing the exhausted techniques of the traditional sociopsychological novel. Despite Sarraute’s theoretical tenets, her novels, especially Do You Hear Them? (1972), reflect the mystified consciousness of the French bourgeois intelligentsia and the spiritual crisis of contemporary Western Europe.
WORKSTropismes. (Paris), 1971.
Le Silence suivi de la mensonge. (Paris, 1967).
Isma. (Paris, 1970).
REFERENCESZonina, L. “V pogone za psikhologicheskoi substantsiei.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1960, no. 2.
Zonina, L. “Novyi roman’ vchera, segodnia.” Voprosy literatury, 1974, no. 11.
Velikovskii, S. “V laboratorii raschelovechivaniia iskusstva.” In the collection O sovremennoi burzhuaznoi estetike, Moscow, 1963.
Balashova, T. Frantsuzskii roman 60-kh gg. Moscow, 1965.
Lakshin, V.”Fiziologiia uspekha.” Novyi mir, 1968, no. 4.
Micha, R. Nathalie Sarraute. Paris, (1966).
Tison-Braun, M. Nathalie Sarraute ou la recherche de l’authenticité. (Paris, 1971).
L. A. ZONINA