new novel

new novel:

see French literatureFrench literature,
writings in medieval French dialects and standard modern French. Writings in Provençal and Breton are considered separately, as are works in French produced abroad (as at Canadian literature, French).
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; Robbe-Grillet, AlainRobbe-Grillet, Alain
, 1922–2008, French novelist and filmmaker, b. Brest. Robbe-Grillet is considered the originator of the French nouveau roman [new novel], in which conventional story is subordinated to structure and the significance of objects is stressed above
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

New Novel


(nouveau roman), the term conventionally used to designate the literary practice of many French writers of the 1950’s and 1960’s (N. Sarraute, A. Robbe-Grillet, M. Butor, C. Simon, and C. Mauriac, for example), who proclaimed that the structure of traditional prose had been exhausted and dissociated themselves from their immediate predecessors, the existentialists. The “new novelists” are in agreement concerning certain very general features of literary problematics, which are associated with a tendency toward loss of personal identity and toward an emphasis on various forms of alienation and conformism in modern bourgeois society. Its literary problematics make the new novel a variant of a broader intellectual and literary current that includes drama (S. Beckett, for example).

Dissociating themselves not only from the existentialist idea of “free choice” as the primary basis of human existence but also from the traditions of the 19th-century French novel, in which the hero’s inner self and his drive to embody his subjective world in reality are depicted by means of a stable character and a unique social fate and biography, the new novelists assume that there is a fundamental contradictoriness between the true nature of modern man and his social role. This assumption gives rise to two types of characters: personifications of the anonymous platitudes of social life, such as the characters in Sarraute’s The Golden Fruits and Mauriac’s The Dinner Party; and the “heroes,” who attempt to reveal and to defend the genuine structure and meaning of their lives (for example, the heroes of Sarraute’s Martereau and Butor’s A Change of Heart).

From the point of view of the new novelists, man, engulfed in and alienated by an atmosphere of intellectual stereotypes or oppressed by the material forms of a world that is hostile to him (Robbe-Grillet’s In the Labyrinth), is capable of making a moral discovery, of making his own consciousness the focal point of true values. But he cannot transform these values into an effective principle of practical existence—he cannot attain an individual personality and an individual fate. For this reason, in the new novel the traditional novelistic plot—the hero’s “story”—usually gives way to his spiritual “prehistory,” and the hidden depths of human consciousness are presented as “lava” unshaped by the real experience of life. Moreover, the new novelist rejects the role of omniscient demiurge, and the limited viewpoint of one or several of the novel’s characters predominates.

The reform of prose structure led to the appearance of new subjects and new means of describing them. For example, Robbe-Grillet’s “thing-oriented” novels give an emphatically detached description of objects in the external world, depriving them of human meaning. Sarraute’s “subconscious conversation” focuses on the element of universal meanings in the subconscious, and Butor’s polyphonic texts are a mosaic of thoughts, perceptions, and “essays.”

In a number of works, the techniques of the new novel are combined with profound, fruitful content (Butor’s A Change of Heart and Sarraute’s Do You Hear Them?). However, because the new novelists have rejected integral characters, have made a fetish of form in a series of theoretical “manifestos,” and have asserted that there is an opposition between ideology and the cognitive capacity of art, Soviet critics regard the new novel as a variety of modernism.


“Roman, chelovek, obshchestvo: Na vstreche pisatelei Evropy ν Lenin-grade.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1963, no. 11.
Velikovskii, S. “V laboratorii raschelovechivaniia iskusstva.” In the collection O sovremennoi burzhuaznoi estetike, fasc. 1. Moscow, 1963.
Balashova, T. Frantsuzskii Roman 60-kh godov. Moscow, 1965.
Nouveau Roman: hier, aujourd’hui, vols. 1–2, Paris, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans.
In his writing-desk lay some chapters of a new novel. The MS.
Monson, with their only son, John Monson, their three daughters, the governess, and Betts Shoreham, were all present; the latter having dropped in with a new novel for the ladies.
By the side of Penelope's chair were a new novel and a couple of illustrated papers, and Mr.
Yesterday morning, one of October's brightest, loveliest days, Milicent and I were in the garden enjoying a brief half-hour together with our children, while Annabella was lying on the drawing-room sofa, deep in the last new novel. We had been romping with the little creatures, almost as merry and wild as themselves, and now paused in the shade of the tall copper beech, to recover breath and rectify our hair, disordered by the rough play and the frolicsome breeze, while they toddled together along the broad, sunny walk; my Arthur supporting the feebler steps of her little Helen, and sagaciously pointing out to her the brightest beauties of the border as they passed, with semi-articulate prattle, that did as well for her as any other mode of discourse.
It was four in the afternoon--that is, the vulgar afternoon of the sun and the clock--and Mrs Wititterly reclined, according to custom, on the drawing-room sofa, while Kate read aloud a new novel in three volumes, entitled 'The Lady Flabella,' which Alphonse the doubtful had procured from the library that very morning.
Hire the last new novel, there I am, inside the boards of the book.
Carbury, confined to the sofa by a spinal malady, had been hitherto dependent on her niece for one of the few pleasures she could enjoy, the pleasure of having the best new novels read to her as they came out.
Critics may have panned the new novel by Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L.
Jonathan Cape, an imprint of publishing house VINTAGE, revealed on 7 March 2019 that it plans to release a new novel by Man Booker prize-winning, internationally bestselling author Sir Salman Rushdie in the UK on 29 August 2019.
KARACHI -- Anwer Abro's new novel 'Nadhro Chand' (Small Moon) in Sindhi language has been published by Kavita Publication, Hyderabad.