Nathalie Sarraute (Author) Maria Jolas (Translator)


Nathalie Sarraute's Tropisms is considered one of the defining texts of the nouveau roman movement. Tropisms was championed as a masterpiece by Jean Genet, Marguerite Duras, and Jean-Paul Sartre, who hailed Sarraute as his favorite "anti-novelist." Sarraute defined her Tropisms as the "movements that are hidden under the commonplace, seemingly harmless instances of our everyday lives." Like figures in a grainy and shadowy photo, the characters in Tropisms are barely defined, the narrative never developed beyond a stressed moment. Instead, Sarraute brilliantly highlights the shift in tone through remarks or subtle details when a relationship changes, when we fall slightly deeper into or begin to emerge out of love or trust, or when something innocent tilts by the smallest degree toward suspicion."

Product Details

$10.95  $10.07
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
November 09, 2015
4.3 X 0.3 X 6.8 inches | 0.13 pounds
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About the Author

Nathalie Sarraute (1900 99) was a French novelist, essayist, dramatist, and critic. Her works have been translated into more than thirty languages.


Sarraute shows us in small immediate moves how a person can be pushed toward marriage or murder.
The book has such intensity that it feels imperative...Her work is immersive and consuming; when you look up from the page you see and feel the world differently.--Pasha Malla
Sarraute has cracked open the 'smooth and hard' surface of the traditional characters in order to discover the endless vibrations of moods and sentiments, the tremors of a never-ending series of earthquakes in the microcosm of the self.--Hannah Arendt
Sarraute's novels are as witty and formally exact as anything of the kind ever written in French.
Tropisms--something like 'prose poems'--as Sarraute calls them that--this is her form! Her texture is anti-novelistic, though she's decided to write 'novels' and launched an important critique of the novel on the basis of her method.--Susan Sontag