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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Creativity and communication in the recent works of Nathalie Sarraute Clarke, Tanis Kathleen 1982

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CREATIVITY  AND  COMMUNICATION  R E C E N T WORKS OF  NATHALIE  IN  THE  SARRAUTE  by  TANIS M.A.,  KATHLEEN  The U n i v e r s i t y  A THESIS  SUBMITTED  THE  CLARKE  of B r i t i s h  Columbia,  IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T  REQUIREMENTS MASTER  FOR OF  THE  DEGREE  OF  ARTS  in THE  FACULTY  OF  GRADUATE  Department  We  accept to  this  of  thesis  the required  -THE U N I V E R S I T Y May  OF  French  as  conforming  standard  BRITISH  1982  STUDIES  COLUMBIA  1982  OF  In p r e s e n t i n g  this  thesis i n partial  f u l f i l m e n t of the  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that it  freely  the L i b r a r y  a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y .  agree that p e r m i s s i o n for  University  f o r extensive  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may  for  financial  shall  of  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 2075 W e s b r o o k P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5 Date  thesis  Columbia  my  It is thesis  n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  permission.  Department  further  be g r a n t e d by t h e h e a d o f  copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s  gain  I  make  copying of t h i s  d e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . understood that  shall  written  A B S T R A C T  By  1963,  N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e had w r i t t e n f i v e  T h a t same y e a r She  has  she was  commissioned t o w r i t e a r a d i o p l a y .  s i n c e t h e n w r i t t e n f o u r more n o v e l s and  plays.  I n t h e s e new  works the reader  m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f two which u n d e r l i e her  literary  T h e s e two  concerns  a lower  tion.  two  the course  preoccupations  the problem of  communication.  s t u d y t h e two  of her l a t e r  artistic  topic,  novels.  a r t i s t s h a v e b e e n c h a l l e n g e d and  While  i t has become an i n c r e a s i n g l y i m p o r t a n t This essay  help determine  pates  examines the p r e r e q u i s i t e s  t o what e x t e n t  i n the c r e a t i v e process.  communication, i t i s d i r e c t l y t h e a r t i s t must e x p r e s s creativity.  As  partici-  for the..allied  topic,  related to creativity, i n order to  The  t h e r e f o r e , both examines  sections.  how  analyses  understanding.  t h e s i s i s d i v i d e d i n t o t h r e e c h a p t e r s , each  composed o f two  as  confirm  t h e s e p r o t a g o n i s t s c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h e a c h o t h e r and the l i m i t a t i o n s t o mutual  An  radio play  e a c h o f them  his 'vision'  This essay,  this  theme i n  and t h e p r o b l e m s r a i s e d by t h e c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s .  will  :  several  i n t r i g u e d by  a n a l y s i s o f t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s o f e a c h n o v e l and  his  five  o f w r i t i n g n o v e l s , S a r r a u t e became more  S a r r a u t e ' s works. to  produc-  themes i n her  and more i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s . literary  concern  are o b v i o u s l y r e l a t e d s i n c e communication  T h i s essay w i l l  In  and  radio  recognize  c a r e e r , t h a t i s her  f o r m o f t h e more c o n c e n t r a t e d  r a d i o p l a y s and  five  cannot but  of Sarraute's major  w i t h the c r e a t i v e process is  novels.  Chapter  one  I s t u d i e s Sarrautel'.s f i r s t  t h r e e r a d i o p l a y s , Le S i l e n c e , The  first  Le Mensonge  and w i t h t h e way  i n which the characters p a r t i - -  c i p a t e i n the c r e a t i v e process. of the processes language.the  most common medium o f  p a t t e r n as C h a p t e r  I , except  study  e x a m i n e s as w e l l  communication,  with a r t i s t i c merit The  tivity  as t h e two  as w e l l  actually same  that the t e x t s analyzed  here  and  Vous l e s e n t e n d e z ? . the  i s mainly  i n the form of a e s t h e t i c  m a i n f o c u s i s on t h e c o m p o n e n t s o f  p r o c e s s , t h e a r t i s t and  how  I I f o l l o w s the  of the a r t i s t , w h i l e the l a t t e r  appreciation.  The  is a  n o v e l c o n c e n t r a t e s on t h e c r e a t i v e a c t and  experience  concerned  second h a l f  Chapter  w i l l be E n t r e l a v i e e t l a m o r t former  The  o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n and  l i m i t s mutual understanding.  life  Isma.  h a l f of t h e c h a p t e r d e a l s w i t h t h e components of  creativity  The  and  people  necessary  crea-  t o the c r e a t i v e  the r e c i p i e n t of the  'creation'.  second h a l f of the chapter d e a l s w i t h the processes  c o m m u n i c a t i o n as o u t l i n e d a b o v e , b u t section differs  w i t h S a r r a u t e ' s two  C | e s t b e a u and E l l e e s t l a . chapters  I and  p o t e n t i a l and  t h e medium i n t h i s  from a r a d i o p l a y t o a n o v e l .  chapter concludes  II.  The  latest  format  The  last  radio plays,  i s consistent with  However, h e r e , t h e l e v e l  of c r e a t i v e  t h e a b i l i t y t o communicate have d i m i n i s h e d  t h e p o i n t w h e r e t h e s e two seem t o h a v e b e e n  themes, c r e a t i v i t y  exhausted.  of  and  to  communication  iv  Table of Contents  Pages 1. A b s t r a c t  : _ i i  2. I n t r o d u c t i o n  1  3• C h a p t e r I - C r e a t i v i t y and C o m m u n i c a t i o n i n Le S i l e n c e , Le Mensonge and Isma  11  4. C h a p t e r I I - C r e a t i v i t y and C o m m u n i c a t i o n i n E n t r e l a v i e e t l a m o r t and Vous l e s entendez?  34  5. C h a p t e r I I I - C r e a t i v i t y  and C o m m u n i c a t i o n  i n C ' e s t b e a u and E l l e e s t l a  55  6. C o n c l u s i o n  77  7. B i b l i o g r a p h y  87  V  Acknowledgement  I  would  like  helpful  to  thank  for  his  his  u n f l o g g i n g encouragement.  mother,  who t o o k  I  like  would  donald, uate of  to  comments,  my a d v i s o r ,  a great  constructive My t h a n k s  interest  in  criticism  this  thesis.  and R o s e - M a r i e T r e m b l a y ,  and f r i e n d s  for  their  and  a l s o go t o my  acknowledge F r a n c e s G r i f f i t h s ,  Vesna Kanjer  students  his  Dominique B a u d o u i n ,  Finally,  Nancy M a c fellow  grad-  warm s u p p o r t and s e n s e  humour. TKC  vi References to Nathalie Sarraute's  works  In t h i s t h e s i s are numerous q u o t a t i o n s and  plays studied.  the reference  To  from the  c u t down on u n n e c e s s a r y  to these  works w i l l  be  given  novels  repetition,  as f o l l o w s :  - by t h e p a g e number o n l y , i m m e d i a t e l y  f o l l o w i n g the  q u o t a t i o n , when t h e t i t l e o f t h e w o r k i s c l e a r f r o m the preceding  context.  - by t h e t i t l e and doubt or The  ambiguity.  e d i t i o n s of N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e ' s  reference normally  are l i s t e d below.  The  first  works used f o r  one  i s the  edition  used here f o r the t h r e e p l a y s i n c l u d e d . A l l other  quotations sources  t h e p a g e number i n c a s e s o f p o s s i b l e  from S a r r a u t e ' s  are f o o t n o t e d  critical  at the  end  works or from  of each  secondary  chapter.  Sarraute, Nathalie,  'isma* s u i v i de *Le S i l e n c e ' e t ' L e M e n s o n g e * Paris:'Gallimard, 1967, p o u r Le S i l e n c e e t Le Mensohge; 1970, p o u r Isma.  Sarraute,  Nathalie.  Theatre: E l l e est l a . C'est beau. Le Mensohge. Le S i l e n c e : P a r i s , G a l l i m a r d , 1978.  Sarraute,  Nathalie.  Vous l e s e n t e n d e z ? P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1968.  Sarraute, Nathalie.  E n t r e l a v i e et l a mort. P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1968.  Sarraute, Nathalie.  Le P l a n e t a r i u m . Paris: Gallimard,  1959.  Isma.  I N T R O D U C T I O N  At t h e b e g i n n i n g o f N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e ' s l i t e r a r y h e r m a t e r i a l was  o r i g i n a l enough t o be met  c o m p r e h e n s i o n , and criticize  even l i t e r a r y  with general i n -  c r i t i c s were prompted  her c r e a t i o n s along w i t h the works of o t h e r  Novelists.  Sarraute's  twenty-four  sketches  until  Her  well  career,  1957.  accepted  first  n o v e l , Tropismes,  t h a t d a t e b a c k t o 1939,  second n o v e l , P o r t r a i t  d'un  as an  New  a collection was  not  inconnu,  even w i t h a p r e f a c e by J e a n - P a u l  w h i c h he d e s c r i b e s S a r r a u t e ' s n o v e l  to  of  known was  not  Sartre, in  'anti-roman'.  Les anti-romans conservent 1'apparence et l e s c o n t o u r s du roman; ce s o n t des o u v r a g e s d ' i m a g i n a t i o n q u i n o u s p r e s e n t e n t des p e r s o n n a g e s f i c t i f s e t n o u s r a c o n t e n t leur histoire. Mais c'est pour mieux d e c e v o i r : i l s ' a g i t de c o n t e s t e r l e roman p a r l u i - m e m e , de l e d e t r u i r e s o u s nos y e u x d a n s l e temps qu'on s e m b l e l ' e ' d i f i e r , d ' e c r i r e l e roman d'un roman q u i ne se f a i t p a s , q u i ne p e u t pas se f a i r e [. . .J. Ces o e u v r e s e t r a n g e s e t d i f f i c i l e m e n t c l a s s a b l e s ne t e m o i g n e n t p a s de l a f a i b l e s s e du g e n r e r o m a n e s q u e , e l l e s m a r q u e n t s e u l e m e n t que n o u s v i v o n s a "~ une epoque de r e f l e x i o n e t que l e roman e s t en t r a i n de r e f l e c h i r s u r lui-m&me. T e l e s t l e l i v r e de N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e : un a n t i - r o m a n q u i se l i t comme un roman p o l i cier... 1 In  the t r a d i t i o n a l  ' s t o r y ' w h i c h has  n o v e l , unique c h a r a c t e r s are i n v o l v e d i n a a beginning  r a u t e ' s n o v e l s do n o t "...  l e mur  de  tell  and  a s t o r y . She  1'inauthentique..."  " L ' A u t h e n t i c i t e - vr'ai r a p p o r t avec l a m o r t . . . S a r r a u t e o f h e r r a d i o p l a y s and  an end.  2  and  In c o n t r a s t , Sar-  leads the reader  to  behind  lies  i t , where  a v e c l e s a u t r e s , a v e c soi-meme,  i n v i t e s the reader, or i n the  t h e a t r e , the  i n t o the universe which l i e s behind  listener  and  s p e e c h and  case  the s p e c t a t o r ,  events.  Her  2  work d e f i n e s surface of but  the  p s y c h o l o g i c a l depths  situation  a person's reaction  an i n d i v i d u a l ' s Sarraute  content  of  Grillet,  the  the  feelings  traditional  New N o v e l i s t ,  un Nouveau Roman,  for  of  objective  the  the  event, but  relationship. form  new n o v e l .  sums up t h e s e  Of and  Robbe-  criticisms  e s s a y s i n w h i c h he  the  an  a relationship,  abandoning the  for  a c o l l e c t i o n of  and s t r u c t u r e  not  about  novel  the  She d e s c r i b e s , n o t  event;  was c r i t i c i z e d  another  evolution  to  deepest  course,  the  and c h a r a c t e r .  beneath  in  Pour  defines  new n o v e l .  Vous ne campez pas de p e r s o n n a g e . . . V o u s ne r a c o n t e z pas d h i s t o i r e . . . V o u s n ' e t u d i e z pas un c a r a c t e r e , n i un m i l i e u . Vous n ' a n a l y s e z pas l e s p a s s i o n s , done v o u s n ' e c r i v e z pas de v r a i s r o m a n s . ^ 1  Unlike  the  traditional  novels,  a linear  p r o g r e s s i o n , but  tions  an e v e n t ,  to  ized character, form a l l  the  w h i c h impede of  spoken Nathalie  flow  even a g e s t u r e .  conventions  of  do n o t  follow  movements  She has  of  the  beneath  reac-  internal-  and d i s c a r d e d f r o m traditional  her novel  and a r o u n d t h e  levels  dialogue. Sarraute  has summed up h e r  novel  du S o u p g o n , p u b l i s h e d i n  1956.  essays,  Life,  has c h a n g e d d r a s t i c a l l y  she s a y s ,  L'Ere  the  a c o l l e c t i o n of  century  works  f o c u s on r e s p o n s e s and  and d e s c r i p t i o n  antiquated the  rather  a word o r  plot  Sarraute's  and so s h o u l d a r t  theories  of  s i n c e the  nineteenth  forms.  . . . l ' i n t e r e t e s s e n t i e l du roman? II ne se t r o u v e p l u s dans l e denombrement de s i t u a t i o n s ou de c a r a c t e r e s ou dans l a p e i n t u r e des moeurs m a i s dans l a m i s e e r j o u r d'une matiere psychologique n o u v e l l e . . . ^ She condemns a u t h o r s Retravailler  who c o p y t h e  derriere  eux  g r e a t works  of  l a meme m a t i e r e e t  the se  past:  servir  in  3  p a r c o n s e q u e n t , sans l e s m o d i f i e r en r i e n , de l e u r s procedes, s e r a i t a peu pres absurde que, pour l e s p a r t i s a n s du roman t r a d i t i o n n e l , de r e f a i r e a v e c l e s memes p e r s o n n a g e s , l e s memes i n t r i g u e s e t d a n s l e ^ meme s t y l e q u e L e R o u g e e t l e N o i r o u G u e r r e e t P a i x . The  basic  structure of Nathalie  tropism.  Tropism,  movement  o f an organism  text,  the tropism  ganism She  which  theinterior  theinterior  term,  works  describes  i s  the  the instinctive  towaf ds:-;stimuli. I l n t t h e l l i t e r a r y c c o n -  represents  to a stimulus,  describes  hind  a biological  Sarraute's  the interaction forms  thebasis  movements  monologue  o f t h e human o r o f Sarraute's  o r tropisms  i n L'Ere  that  style.  l i ebe-  du Soupgon.  ...ce q u i s e d i s s i m u l e d e r r i e r e l e monologue i n t e r i e u r : un f o i s o n n e m e n t i n n o m b r a b l e d e s e n s a t i o n s , d ' i m a g e s de s e n t i m e n t s , de s o u v e n i r s , d ' i m p u l s i o n s , de p e t i t s actes l a r v e s qu'aucun langage i n t e r i e u r n'exprime, q u ise bous c u l e n t aux p o r t e s de l a c o n s c i e n c e , s ' a s s e m b l e n t en groupes compacts e t s u r g i s s e n t t o u t a coup, se d e f o n t a u s s i t o t , s e combinent autrement e t r e a p p a r a i s s e n t sous une n o u v e l l e f o r m e , t a n d i s q u e c o n t i n u e a s e d e r o u l e r en n o u s . . . l e f l o t i n i n t e r r o m p u d e s m o t s . . Tropisms,  then,  sentiments expressed feelings tant  and memories.  that  made p o p u l a r .  and  :o  accompany  T h e medium  a form  Mimica  of sensations, through  tropisms are  the half-formed  thoughts and  between  and Yvon  aloud.  I t i s impor-  subconversation  that Virginia  Cranaki  images,  which  t h e w o r d s we s p e a k  thedistinction  monologue,'  Sarraute,  composed  i sthe subconversation,  t o make  terior  a r e groups  WooIf  and ' i n -  a n d James  Joyce  Belaval, i n Nathalie  e x p l a i n t h e d i f f e r e n c e between  'interior  monologue'  subconversation. L a meme m o d i f i c a t i o n d u p e r s o n n a g e - o u , s i l ' o n a i m e m i e u x , de l a v u e s u r l e p e r s o n n a g e - empeche de c o n fondre l a s o u s - c o n v e r s a t i o n avec l e monologue i n t e r i e u r : c e d e r n i e r n ' e t a i t t o u j o u r s que du d i a l o g u e avec s o i , un d i a l o g u e r e n t r e , mais r e n t r e du d e h o r s , a p e u  4  p r e s dans l a forme q u ' i l a u r a i t g a r d e e a u - d e h o r s ; l a s o u s - c o n v e r s a t i o n v i e n t du d e d a n s , de l a r e g i o n o b s c u r e d ' a v a n t l e l a n g a g e , e l l e n ' e s t pas e n c o r e un d i a l o g u e , e l l e n ' e s t pas e n c o r e s t r u c t u r e , e l l e n ' e s t pas r e n t r e e , e l l e e s t r e t e n u e du d e d a n s . T e l l e e s t 1 ' o r i g i n a l i t e de N a t h a l i e Sarraute.8 Sarraute's  works  are  composed o f  an i n t e r p l a y  between  c o n v e r s a t i o n and s p e e c h . The s p o k e n w o r d , a c c o r d i n g t o is  a  'trompe  ample  l'oeil,'  from S a r r a u t e ' s  d i s c r e p a n c y between Alain, his  oneiof  literary  the  uncomfortable  third  the  novel,  Le P l a n e t a r i u m ,  s p o k e n word and t h e  in his  is  He f e e l s  he s t u d i e s .  a metaphor  shows  the  subconversation.  entertaining  apartment.  s h o w i n g h e r where  d e p i c t e d by a t r o p i s m -  Sarraute,  r i d d e n w i t h m e a n i n g l e s s c l i c h e s . An e x -  characters,  idol,  sub-  Germaine  Lemaire,  e m b a r r a s s e d and  His uneasiness  d e p i c t i n g A l a i n walking  is on a  tightrope. " O u i , j ' a i m e mieux g a , t r a v a i l l e r l e nez au m u r . . . C ' e s t p l u s . . . " II a t o u t a coup l a s e n s a t i o n de m a r c h e r s u r q u e l q u e c h o s e q u i se b a l a n c e sous s e s p i e d s , c ' e s t comme une p a s s e r e l l e e t r o i t e j e t e e a u - d e s s u s d ' u n t o r r e n t , imp e t u e u x e t s u r l a q u e l l e , t a n d i s que t o u s , masses s u r l ' a u t r e r i v e se t a i s e n t e t l e r e g a r d e n t , i l a v a n c e . Un f a u x mouvement e t i l v a t o m b e r . II t a t e du p i e d d e v a n t • l u i a v e c p r e c a u t i o n . . . " O u i , l e dos a l a f e n e t r e c'est p l u s commode . . . " ( p . 1 6 9 ) Alain's feelings  words a r e in  the  nonchalant  situation  s p o k e n word and t h e  but  reveals  tropism,  language  to  express tropisms.  is  her very  creation.  Perhaps,  because S a r r a u t e ' s  she f o c u s e s on t h e  critic.  Her  fifth  novel,  ary French l i t e r a r y  the  difference  Sarraute's  first  Les F r u i t s  the  between  innovative  between  d'or,  the  style  ac-  author-reader-  satirizes  depicting their  his  inefficiency  n o v e l s were n o t w e l l  relationship  critics,  d e s c r i p t i o n of  and d e m o n s t r a t e s  of  cepted,  Sarraute's  contempor-  opinions,  tastes  5  and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . The  hero o f Les F r u i t s d'or i s a n o v e l ,  a l s o c a l l e d Les F r u i t s d'or and the s t r u c t u r e i s a s e r i e s of c o n f l i c t i n g o p i n i o n s about the n o v e l . Anonymous v o i c e s  express  a t t i t u d e s about the book through t r o p i s m s and speech, however the d i a l o g u e form predominates.  I n o t h e r words, she begins  to  i n t e g r a t e the t r o p i s m and the s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n i n t o spoken words. In was  1963,  a f t e r the p u b l i c a t i o n o f Les F r u i t s d'or,  commissioned t o w r i t e a r a d i o p l a y . She was  Sarraute  intrigued  the c h a l l e n g e a l t h o u g h she c o u l d not c o n c e i v e how  by  she would ex-  p r e s s t r o p i s m s g i v e n the 'spoken' n a t u r e of a r a d i o p l a y . True, unspoken d i a l o g u e goes hand i n hand w i t h d i a l o g u e and, i n f a c t , the spoken word i s s i m p l y the end p r o d u c t o f t h e . t r o p i s m and/or s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n . But how spoken word? How ly?  c o u l d she i n t e g r a t e t r o p i s m s i n t o the  c o u l d she r e v e a l i n t e r n a l movements e x t e r n a l l y ?  She would have t o e l i m i n a t e n a r r a t i o n , d e s c r i p t i o n , imag-  e r y and metaphors and r e l y e n t i r e l y on the spoken word. That Les F r u i t s d'or i s almost e n t i r e l y w r i t t e n i n the d i a l o g u e form h e l p e d t o ease the t r a n s i t i o n from n o v e l s t o r a d i o p l a y s . S a r r a u t e ' s f i r s t r a d i o p l a y , Le S i l e n c e , was 1964.  The  produced i n  s u b j e c t of the p l a y - the t r o p i s m s aroused by  P i e r r e ' s - one o f the c h a r a c t e r s - w i t h d r a w a l  Jean-  into silence, i s  borrowed from .scene i n Les F r u i t s d'or where a c r i t i c  has been  asked t o read a few pages from the n o v e l , a l s o c a l l e d  Les  F r u i t s d'or. He t u r n s the page and f i n d s n o t h i n g s u i t a b l e .  The  f o l l o w i n g passage d e s c r i b e s h i s r e a c t i o n t o the s i l e n c e i n the room w h i l e he i s f l i p p i n g the pages. The  s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n o f the  6  c r i t i c predominates i n t h i s passage u n t i l who  he t e l l s the others  are w a i t i n g f o r him t o read, t h a t he has found a good p a r t . Mais c ' e s t d'eux que c e l a p r o v i e n t , de c e l u i - c i q u i l ' a provoque e t q u i 1'observe maintenant, q u i se t a i t . . . II y a quelque chose dans sa presence s i l e n c i e u s e , dans l e u r s i l e n c e a tous, a s s i s en c e r c l e autour de l u i , dans l e u r a t t e n t e lourde de mefiance, q u i comme p a r un e f f e t de s u c c i o n , t i r e de ces mots q u ' i l l i t toute l e u r seve, pompe l e u r sang, i l s sont vides...des p e t i t e s choses dessechees... II tourne une autre page...Tous l e s mots maintenant sont comme d u r c i s , v e r n i s , t r o p b r i l l a n t s . . . o n d i r a i t que de ce s i l e n c e , de ces regards un courant;sort,unessubstance c o u l e , se repand...Comme sous 1 ' e f f e t de l a g a l v a n o p l a s t i e , t o u t se recouvre d'une couche de metal c l i n q u a n t . II f a u t rompre l e charme, d_>etourner l e mauvais o e i l , i l f a u t s a i s i r n'importe quoi e t l e l e u r j e t e r , ne p l u s h e s i t e r . . . " I c i , p a r exemple...ce p a s s a g e - c i , moi j e l e trouve admirable ... (p.161)  Le S i l e n c e r e c a p i t u l a t e s the theme o f t h i s passage- the r e a c t i o n s t o a heavy s i l e n c e . The form, though, i s e n t i r e l y ent. Sarraute emphasizes i n an i n t e r v i e w with Gretchen ser  i n 1976 the d i f f i c u l t y  isms o r subconversation  she encounters  differR. Bes-  i n i n t r o d u c i n g troph-  i n ' l a conversation v o c a l i s e e ' :  D'habitude dans mes romans j e montre l e s mouvements i n t e r i e u r s des images, l e d i a l o g u e n'en e s t que 1'aboutissement. I c i , t o u t d o i t e t r e exprime dans l e d i a l o g u e lui-meme...^ Sarraute was t h e r e f o r e faced w i t h a d i f f i c u l t task when she accepted  t o w r i t e r a d i o p l a y s i n which the d i a l o g u e alone must  s u s t a i n the f u l l weight o f the drama and where she must i n t e g r a t e subconversation This thesis w i l l  into conversation. examine c r e a t i o n and communication i n Sar-  raute's works. Many w r i t e r s have w r i t t e n about c r e a t i v i t y , but i n Sarraute's works, i t becomes a major theme, even an obsess i o n a f t e r the p u b l i c a t i o n o f Les F r u i t s d'or. The d i s c u s s i o n of  creativity will  focus on the p r o t a g o n i s t s o f each of. the  7  seven  works  termine ative to  what  process.  and  the  topic, The  to  studied  in  extent The  as  protagonists.  Language,  ting,  inefficient,  ding  i s most and  limit view  well  betrays  true  as  the  most  of  another  person.  Furthermore,  know  another  This is  changing  a  thesis  1970. of  the  his  to  The  ter  will  plays  1964, of  process  language  will  study  of  the  also the  communicate  way with  the  understan-  as  person  well  has  his  communicated constant  minute.  own  to state  So,  first  three  radio  Mensonge,  chapter  needed  the  to  i n which  the The  and  for  I.e.  stimulate  the  other.  1966  and  to  artist  silence  and  a  of  of of  the the  the  orsen-  pro-  creativity^  half  analysis  to  new,  creative  protagonists An  in  components  develop  the  I  Le  Isma  the  the  artist's second  Chapter  plays-  examine  need  openly  to  examined.  in  will  prerequisites,  each  true  communica-  chapters.  r e c i p i e n t of be  for  three  f r e e l y and  are  works.  among  into  including  Certain  to  allied  of  mutual  a  cre-  The  limits  factors  in  de-  impossible.  Le  the  is  the  seven  dialogue  be  from minute  is  the  the  Each  cannot  everyone  Sarraute's in  people.  divided  creativity  role  art-lover,  be  half  material.  sitivity cess.  first  creative  express iginal  of  produced  The  fully  in  true  will  prerequisites  common m e d i u m  which  literally  will  discussion  Silence,  reality  person  comprise of  in  process.  examined  i t limits  among  version  flux,  the  f e e l i n g s . Other  or  of  include  be  analysis  participate  exchanges  for  authentic  close  creative  will  the  understanding  the  also  topic  communication  will  by  will  this  A  characters  raised  commumication, on  the  thesis.  discussion  problems  discussion  this  the  chapradio  language  8  they  use w i l l  tropisms It  will  determine  a n d how t h e t r o p i s m s  of a l l ,  ings.  Secondly,  part w i l l  each person  analyse  1972. The c e n t r a l  view  figure  written  word. Vous  role  i n Entre  the chapter  in  concrete  i n two n o v e l s ,  Entre  l e s entendez?,  l a v i e e t l a mort i s the  into  will  examine  form  i . e . the  on t h e a r t - l o v e r  process.  d e a l w i t h how t h e w r i t e r  a n d how t h e a r t - l o v e r  likely  he f a c e s o f  a concrete  focuses  i n the creative  he i s  The s e c o n d puts  expresses  and part  his 'vision' h i s apprecia-  o f a work o f a r t .  Following final  t h e same f o r m a t  chapter  communication duced both  will  form  impulse  l e s entendez?  he f u l f i l l s  of  and  reality,  first  h i s v o c a t i o n . The s t u d y  h i s creative  feel-  I . The  o n l y how h e c r e a t e s b u t a l s o t h e d i l e m n a  tion  of  p u b l i s h e d i n 1968 and Vous  a s he f u l f i l l s  transmuting  do  r e v e a l deep  h i m s e l f and i t descfcibes t h e e x p e r i e n c e s  have  the  communication.  therefore, impossible.  t h e theme o f c r e a t i v i t y  in  express  themselves.  I I f o l l o w s t h e same p a t t e r n a s c h a p t e r  v i e e t l a mort,  not  limit  has a unique  understanding,  la  to  which  language does n o t a d e q u a t e l y  making mutual Chapter  the characters  have e x t e r n a l i z e d  also discuss the factors  First  writer  t o what e x t e n t  will  analyse  i n Sarraute's  i n 1973 a n d E l l e  as c h a p t e r s  fulfill Coupled  mutual  understanding.  p l a y s , C'est  and  beau,  pro-  e s t l a , i n 1978. The p r o t a g o n i s t s o f  the role  ation.  t h e themes o f c r e a t i v i t y  two l a t e s t  p l a y s do n o t p a r t i c i p a t e  they  I a n d I I , 'the t h i r d  with their  i n the creative  of the recipient lack  Although  process.  Neither  of the a r t i s t ' s  of creativity  cre-  i s the absence o f  t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e engaged i n  9  d i a l o g u e , the l e v e l of communication has been reduced  to a  minimum. Although  the main focus of t h i s t h e s i s i s on Sarraute's  f i v e p l a y s , i t would have been a r t i f i c i a l them without mentionuing  to have d i s c u s s e d  her n o v e l s , which account  f o r most of  her w r i t i n g . In f a c t , there i s a s t r o n g l i n k between her novels and p l a y s , as Sarraute c l e a r l y  indicates.  Chaque f o i s que j ' a i f i n i un roman, j ' e s s a i e d ' e c r i r e une piece.10 If  t h i s t h e s i s had examined the s t r u c t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s between  the novels and the p l a y s and the way Sarraute handles in  tropisms  her p l a y s as opposed to her n o v e l s , i t would have f o l l o w e d  a c h r o n o l o g i c a l order and d i s c u s s e d Entre l a v i e e t l a mort before the p l a y Isma. T h i s t h e s i s , however, w i l l c r e a t i v e process and communication throughout  analyse the  her works. I t  would be i m p o s s i b l e , i f Sarraute w r i t e s more r a d i o p l a y s , to continue the themes analysed i n t h i s t h e s i s . The c h a r a c t e r s of C'est beau and E l l e e s t l a n e i t h e r communicate  nor do they  have any c r e a t i v e p o t e n t i a l c r e a t i v i t y . T h e r e f o r e , two of S a r r a u t e ' s themes have been  exhausted.  Footnotes  N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e , P o r t r a i t d'un I n c o n n u . de J e a n - P a u l S a r t r e . . ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s G a l l i m a r d , p . 8.  Preface 1956),  2 i. I b i d , p . 1 1 . 3 . I b i d , p.11. 4 A l a i n R o b b e - G r i l l e t , " N o u v e a u r o m a n homme n o u v e a u ( 1 9 6 1 ) , " i n P o u r un N o u v e a u Roman ( P a r i s : l i e s E d i t i o n s de M i n u i t , 1963), p.145. 5 Nathalie Sarraute, "Conversation et sous-conversat i o n , " i n L ' E r e du Soupgon: E s s a i s s u r l e roman (Paris: E d i t i o n s G a l l i m a r d , 1956), p.112.. ^ Ibid,  p.112.  Ibid,  p.115.  7  g Mimica C r a n a k i e t Yvon B e l a v a l , N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s G a l l i m a r d , 1965), p.46, as quoted i n G r e t c h e n Rous B e s s e r , N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e ( B o s t o n : Twayne P u b l i s h e r s , 1 9 7 9 ) , p . 4.6. 9 G r e t c h e n R. B e s s e r , " C o l l o q u e a v e c N a t h a l i e r a u t e - 2 2 1 a v r i l 1 1 9 7 6 , " i n The F r e n c h R e v i e w , V o l . L , (1976), p.288. 1  0  Ibid,  p.289.  SarNo.2  11  CHAPTER I :  CREATIVITY AND COMMUNICATION IN LE SILENCE, LE MENSONGE AND ISMA .  Sarraute the  work  three  Elle,  represents  participate  of  radio  alone  must  unspoken sustain  a l l three  are  plays,  engaged  process,  wondered  tropisms  the full  plays,  by t h e i r  very  i n t h e same p r o c e s s .  cation  will  include  deeper  thoughts  cation  processes,  half  half  chapter play deals  express and dialogue  o f t h e drama. The c h a r a c t e r s with  The d i s c u s s i o n  mutual  of  the challenge  a medium where  interaction  factors  and thus,  i n each  faced with  the inefficiency  and other  of this  t h e second  through  o f Le  or the recipient  how s h e w o u l d  weight  represent  t h e main c h a r a c t e r  the f i r s t  when  H^_ a n d L u i a n d  a n d Isma  a n d how t h e c h a r a c t e r s  Sarraute,  i n g e n e r a l . The  While  of fiction  While  i n the creative  communicate  in  creativity.  communication.  writing  Pierre,  between  a n d Isma a l l c o n t a i n  o f Le Silence  the reader  on c r e a t i v i t y  and i t s fate  of creativity.  or the creator,  artist's  focuses  i n the relationship  L e Mensonge  t h e main p r o t a g o n i s t s  Mensonge  with  Le S i l e n c e ,  of the question  author  the  interested  o f a r t , i t s environment  plays,  elements  the  has been  o f language  which  limit  other,  o f communito reveal  true  understanding  each  communi-  amongst t h e  characters. As midst  Le Silence  of describing  represented 'monologue', cker  opens,  which,  has interrupted  and e x o t i c ,  b y H_^, H_^, F_^_, b u t H_^_ r e f u s e s . he s u r m i s e s ,  unspecified  a n d F_^, u r g e He s e e m s  i s Jean-Pierre  himself place.  i n the His friends,  himto continue h i s  to detect laughing  a slight  sni-  at him. Jean-  12  Pierre the  has s a i d  pressure  f i r s t ,  rally  breaks  o n e who  the others  together  resumes  builds  begin  to say nothing,  up  i s sensitive  i n an e f f o r t  h i s l y r i c a l the  and continues  of h i s silence  the only  gradually,  nothing  unbearably.  t o make  monologue  H_j_ i s , a t  to h i s silence,  to reflect  while  but,  's p e r t u r b a t i o n . T h e y  J e a n - P i e r r e speak.  a t the end o f the play,  When Jean-Pier<re  silence.  H,, v o i x f e r m e : . . . C ' e s t un a r t b y z a n t i n l i b e r e , q u i e x p l o s e . . . (avec assurance) i l y a l a - d e s s u s , d ' a i l l e u r s , un l i v r e remarquablement documente avec des r e p r o d u c t i o n s superbes... de Labovic... J e a n - P i e r r e : De Labovic?...(p.73) The  others  hail  the event  b u t H_^_ d i s c l a i m s  any awareness  of h i s  silence. Tous joyeux, emerveilles: -Oh, i l p a r l e . . . - I I questionne... - ca 1'interesse... H^: M a i s p o u r q u o i 1 a r t b y z a n t i n n e 1 ' i n t e r e s s e r a i t - i l pas? F^: M a i s p a r c e q u e t o u t a 1 h e u r e . . . H^: Q u o i , t o u t a 1 ' h e u r e ? . . . F^: E n f i n vous-meme... H^: M o i - m e m e quoi? F^: Son s i l e n c e . . . H^: M a i s q u e l silence? F ^ , g e n e e : C ' e t a i t u n p e u . . . I I m'a s e m b l e . . . ( H e s i t e u n i n s t a n t e t p u i s : ) Oh n o n , r i e n . . . J e n e s a i s pas... H : Eh b i e n , j e ne s a i s p a s non p l u s . J e n a i r i e n remarque. (p.74) 1  1  1  Perhaps or  the situation  perhaps  a l l  took  that  t h e drama  place  over  has been has been  a  the principal  creator. middle  As  the play  presented  few seconds.  an uncomfortable  H^,  enacted  silence  The  o f an e l o q u e n t ,  he  l y r i c a l  a preconscious  i n slow play  motion  presents  level  and i t  the  tropisms  induces.  c h a r a c t e r i n Le opens,  on  Silence  i s a  has i n t e r r u p t e d monologue.  potential  himself  His friends  i n the beg him  13  to  continue. F^: H^:  By  S i , r a c o n t e z . . . C e t a i t s i j o l i . . . V o u s racontez Non, j e v o u s en prie...(p.51)  i n t e r r u p t i n g h i s m o n o l o g u e , he  nation. allow the  s i bien...  1  A  c r e a t o r m u s t be  the  impulse  r e a c t i o n of  to  w h e n he  willing  flower  himself  of  being  wishes  to  without  his audience or  accuses Jean-Pierre  stifles  that  of  express  h i s reader.  had  imagi-  h i s views,  restraint,  afraid he  his creative  to  regardless H —r  of  ironically  n  of  voicing his  not  l e t himself  opinions get  carried  a l o n g b y h i s own impetus. H^: N o t r e o p i n i o n v o u s f a i t p e u r . E t s i v o u s d i s i e z une b e t i s e ? C ' e s t que ga p o u r r a i t a r r i v e r , h e i n ? . . . ( p . 5 9 ) Moreover, himself mentions  the  by  act  the  of  creation is reciprocal.  reaction of  i n a conversation  the  r e c i p i e n t of  about the  A  creator  his  author,  defines  creativity.  George Sand,  that  i  even  i f she  never  spoke  . . . e i l e a v a i t son s i l e n c e , (p.64) However, ses  his  creative ient If spond  the  oeuvre pour  initial  creativity, impulse  step after  falters  to p a r t i c i p a t e , H_^_  i s the  as  m u s t be which  taken  the  the by  creator, Jean-Pierre  t o H., ' s c r e a t i v i t y .  H,  pleads  by  the  meublait artist,  le who  r e c i p i e n t responds.  because of manifested  — I  rocal  l a p o r t e r . Ca  reluctance  of  Jean-Pierre's i s the him  to  reader join  H^'s  the  who  must  i n the  As'antartist a  re-  recip-  —T  creative  or  recip-  silence.  process.  H^: B i e n s u r , v o u s d e v e z b i e n v o u s s e r v i r de m o t s de en t e m p s . I I l e f a u t b i e n . P o u r v i v r e . . . ( p . 5 8 )  ience  expo-  needs the  reader,  so  approval H,  tries  and to  a c t i v e support  align  himself  of  with  an  temps aud-  Jean-Pierre  14  against  the  rest  of  the  group.  H,: Pardonnez-leur, i l s n e s a v e n t p a s c e q u i i l s f o n t , ne f a i t e s pas a t t e n t i o n , ayez p i t i e . . . J e n ' a u r a i s j a m a i s du, c ' e s t e v i d e n t . . . J e s u i s l e p r e m i e r a m'en rendre compte. Mais vous devez comprendre...(p.54) So,  Jean-Pierre's  ty,  a  necessary  silence  represents  component.  At  the  i n the  end  of  context  the  play,  of H,  creativiclaims  x never  to  have  noticed Jean-Pierre's  contemplation silence  i s provocative  Vous The  n'avez  silence Voila. ecrire  Ce un  Implicit traditional ditional defined ical  i s necessary  jamais  to  stimulate  the  the  potential  creator.  H,'s  —±—  novel  creativity.  novel  II  d i s c u s s i o n of  versus  expects  characters.  a 's  the  suggests  creative  that  imagination-  mentions  to  parle...(p.68)  s i l e n c e e t a i t d'or. j o l i poeme...(p.66) in this  This  to  autant  stimulates  silence.  new  plot,  va  F..  —±  tells  vous  obliger  creativity novel.  i s an  nous  image  of  the  the  tra-  narration, description  and  well-  his  lyr-  urge  him  reader  a  of  friends  The  H,  —±  to  continue  monologue.  F^: ...Parlez-nous e n c o r e d e ga. C ' e t a i t s i beau, ces p e t i t e s m a i s o n s . . . i l me s e m b l e q u e j e l e s v o i s . . . a v e c l e u r s f e n e t r e s s u r m o n t e e s de p e t i t s a u v e n t s d e b o i s decoupe...(p.51) 's  lyrical  type  of  novel.  monologue  literary However,  which  provokes  form,  as  are  do  a  expression the  the  new  which  H^_  i n order  form  is  will a  new  expresses  novelists.  that,  certain  represent  evolution of  thought.  inseparable-  auvents',  could  He to  a  nineteenth  century  be. r e p l a c e d  by  style  for a  calls  the  the  need  for a  states  that  form  and  about  'ces  petits  talk  required.  new silence,  change  of  content  15  H : C ' e s t u n e q u e s t i o n de f o r m e . J e v o u s l e d i s a i s t o u t a 1 ' h e u r e . . . M a i s j e v i e n s de c o m p r e n d r e . . . C ' e s t l a f o r m e . I I a u r a i t f a l l u p o u r que v o u s l e s a c c e p t i e z , c e s petits a u v e n t s , q u e j e v o u s l e s p r e s e n t e a v e c p o l i t e s s e , comme i l s e d o i t , s u r un p l a t e a u d ' a r g e n t , e t g a n t e de b l a n c . Dans un l i v r e . A b e l l e c o u v e r t u r e . J o l i m e n t i m p r i m e . Dans un s t y l e b i e n t r a v a i l l e . ( p . 6 6 ) H_£ e x p r e s s e s novelists. of-date  A tor a  The  and  reproduce  the  need  content  H_£ p o i n t s  'matiere  c r e a t o r must but  so  for a  are  of  change  the  out  nineteenth  that  invent  the  something  others,  subjective vision.  f o r they  F_  a  new.  as  century  i t i s useless  epuisee.......banale  personality for Jean-Pierre,  their  i n content,  to  do  novel  new  is  continue  outto  mourir.'(p.67)  Not  only  i s H_^_  a l l rearrange  depending  the  not  on  and  crea-  revise  facts  attributes Jean-Pierre's  a  but  on  silence  —-j.  to  his :  timidity. II  est  H,  observes  to  waste  tres  that  words  timide,  c'est  Jean-Pierre  when  there  tout.(p.55)  is silent  i s nothing  H : . . . l e s mots pour vous...Vous c n o s e de plat...(p.58) H_£ e x p r e s s e s 'Silence  is  this  same v i e w .  then  H_j_ a n d H^: Then  he  H^: As  decides the  to  he  does  not  like  say.  n'avez  Jean-Pierre  jamais  dit  appreciates  quelque  the  motto  golden:!  E^: S i quelqu'un lui...(p.58) H-,  because  sait  that  que  le silence  Jean-Pierre  est  is silent  d'or,  because  c'est  he  bien  despises  group.  ...Repondra decides Monsieur  Jean-Pierre's  pas.  that est  Monsieur  Jean-Pierre  nous- m e p r i s e . . . ( p . 59 ) is a  snob.  more  and  snob...(p.67)  silence  becomes  more  agonizing,  's  16  accusations calls  against  Jean-Pierre  an  H : . . . i l n'est arrete...(p.68) Several  different  confirm  the  idual  uses  lity,  which  stimulate confirm Le with  his  des  of  the  Jean-Pierre's  various  do.  A  as  II  character  r e a c t i o n s . Each his  creator  creative imagination  Sarraute's  the  and  pleads  erating  a  and  to  Vincent,  will  Silence  own  version  also  well  needs  as  an  i s , the to  play,  focuses  expectations  of  reader  condone  the of  indivof  rea-i  silence  audience  to  on,  but  Pierre protests  will  not  be  to  question  take  making  of  and  the  to  to  others  the  part  false  his white play  good  as  willTo  But,  and  the  in earnest.  truth The  tells  a  art-  the  The lies  is  necess-  others  are Only  words,  overcome  will  of  them,  who  has  practise  painful  story  tol-  Pierre's  Edgar,  others  to  exploded  p l a y - a c t i n g : one  the  the  behavior.  game b e c o m e s  She  of  polite  in other  help  exp-  Pierre,  the  that  and  pauper.  acquaintance,  statements  lies.  a  habitual  suggest  of  be  well  Mensonge  l i e , has  utterance.  their  as  role  i n Le  accepting  truth.  the  the  fiction.  accustomed  denied  deals  recipient  a white  pretends to  on  shifts  are  f o r wisdom  to  radio  emphasis  h e i r e s s who  lying,  begins  second  the  unable  distortion  ^version  Le  artist,  compelled  Jacques  Simone  imposteur.  c r e a t o r must  is built  tolerating  uh  creates  characters  of  notres,  and  c a s t i g a t e s an  habit  c'est  even  creativity.  of  f o r him  extreme.  imagination  protagonist,  suddenly  a  pas  creativity-that  society  more  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of  participation  other  ary  a  and  imposter.  c r e a t i o n . Whereas  main and  his  Mensonge,  ist's  become more  subjectivity  his  ectations the  him  about  when an  17  incident Pierre, her  to  sists  which took  place  convinced that admit  that  that  not  the  war when she was i n  she was i n Geneva d u r i n g  she i s  she i s  during  playing  playing.  the  Her  game i . e .  story  is  the  Paris.  war,  lying.  begs  She  in-  true.  P i e r r e : . . . M a i s e l l e s.'amuse, e l l e v e u t c o n t i n u e r a j o u e r . E l l e v o u s l e d i r a . M a i s S i m o n e , d i t e s - l e . D i t e s que v o u s jouez. Simone: J e , n e joue p a s , je vous d i s : c ' e s t v r a i . (p.90) Finally,  after  'playing  the  the  g r o u p has b e g g e d h e r  game,'  Simone r i t : Contents? Bruits  she y i e l d s  Everyone,  except  the  game.  He c o n t i n u e s  the  game j u s t The p l a y  to  heureux,  Pierre,  the  social  intercourse.  states  that  whole  T o u t l e monde f a i t . c a (p.83)  the  play,  concept of  t r u t h can l e a d  the  truth. to  that  accepted  jouais...Voila.  convinced that  the  White  je  de b a i s e r s ,  t o wonder  resolve  raises  The game t h e y  is  admit  and r e s t o r e s  Bon,bon,bien sur, de r i r e s  to  if  she was convention.  Vous  etes  gloussements. Simone was  (p.98)  playing  Simone s a i d she was  playing  crisis. question of  lies  are  acceptable  p l u s ou m o i n s . pretense  t r u t h and i t s  of  Nevertheless,  e x c e s s i v e abuses of  society.  Des p e t i t s  lying, the  in  role  Lucie  mensonges...  makes a mockery  search for  power.  in  of  absolute  Lucie alludes  to  'forced confessions.' L u c i e : S i m o n e , j e v o u s s u p p l i e . Ne c e d e z p a s . I l s veulent vous d e t r u i r e , vous v i d e r . I l s v o n t vous s a i s i r , vous p a s s e r l a c o r d e au c o u , v o u s r a s e r l a t e t e . (p.97) So,  the  the  ultimate question  Where  is  play  the  suggests that  truth?  still  No one  the  search for  looms a t  the  knows.anymore.  truth is e n d . Where  useless is  the  for game?  18  A  parallel  Mensonge domain novel the  and  of has  the  and  creative  between  always  the  shadowy  expression  feel A  that  reader  w i l l  and  question  that the  Pierre  area  f i c t i o n  i f fact  Alain  The  domain  where  should  fiction;  presented  represents,  Sarraute  a  and  authenticity  Roman,  drama  reader.  style.  presents  feels  Nouveau  or  fact  writer  Sarraute  un  been  the  process. modern  apart.  Pour  drawn  the  facts.  In  be  literature,  author's  Novelists  can  i n  of  and  other  be  what  Robbe-Gri1let  i s  In  separate presents  merge, he  the  New  kept  f i c t i o n  Le  the  'reality'  journalist  of  i n  i s  sums  the  reading. up  this  theory: . . . d e s q u ' a p p a r a i t l e s o u c i de s i g n i f i e r q u e l q u e chose (quelque chose d ' e x t e r i e u r a l ' a r t ) l a l i t t e r a t u r e commence a d i s p a r a i t r e . Redonnons done a l a n o t i o n d'engagement l e s e u l sens q u ' e l l e p e u t a v o i r p o u r n o u s . Au l i e u d ' e t r e de nature p o l i t i q u e , 1'engagement c ' e s t , pour l ' e c r i v a i n , l a p l e i n e c o n s c i e n c e des p r o b l e m e s a c t u e l s de s o n p r o p r e langage, l a c o n v i c t i o n de l e u r e x t r e m e i m p o r t a n c e , l a volonte de l e s r e s o u d r e de l ' i n t e r i e u r . C ' e s t l a , p o u r l u i , l a seule c h a n c e de d e m e u r e r un artiste...-*Pierre, echoes ade  then, the  as  provocation  is  more  is  merely of  distinguish  reader's  views  of  of  the  drama  i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l than a  such  ialisme.' cause  modern  to  between  that  truth  truth  and  should  the  not  game  masquer  fiction.  The  tion  unable  disagreeable words  Such  as  words  conflicting  i n Sarraute's  i n Le  sound.  third  S i l e n c e and  'Isme'  refers  Le to  play,  Mensonge; the  1  to  define  opinions.  the  meaning  of  the  words  tic  situation,  but  rather  which their  and  t h e r e f o r e are  i t i s , ironically,  provides  the  pronounciation.  of  the  'soc  the  However,  crux  i t  accentua-  ' c a p i t a l i s m e , ' s t r u c t u r a l i s m e ' and serve  Isma  not  drama-  The been  p l a y opens  g o s s i p i n g about  accuses ther  i n the midst  them  topic  alities  their  o f a c o n v e r s a t i o n . The group  absent  of discrediting  friends,  the couple,  the Dubuits.  they  of conversation, but are unable.  t o keep  the c o n v e r s a t i o n from  When  t r y to find  They  has  ano-  exchange  fading. Finally,  ban-  H, i s —T  forced  to leave  ferent.'  as t h e o t h e r s  The group  then  begins  that  L u i and E l l e  have  that  they  the Dubuits  'isme.  dislike  label  him  'impotent'  to analyze  f o r the Dubuits. because  and  the v i o l e n t  Elle  aversion  finally  o f t h e way  'indif-  discovers  they  pronounce  1  E l l e , e x c i t e e : I s m a . I s m a . Ma. Ma. . . C a p i t a l isma*..- S y n d i c a l i s m ma. S t r u c t u r a l i s m a . C e t t e f a g o n q u ' i l a d e p r o n o n c e r Isma... le bout se r e l e v e . . . c a s ' i n s i n u e . . . P l u s l o i n . Toujours plus l o i n . J u s q u ' a u coeur...Comme un v e n i n . . . I s m a . . . I s m a . . . ( p . 3 3 ) The  others  dislike do  continue  f o r the Dubuits.  not exist,  the  Dubuits  that  suggesting  while  either,  he h a s no n e e d  an  embellishment  of  the obsession.  ways  F^ suggests  H_^ m a i n t a i n s his dislike  to just  that  their  pretend  although  i s based  for 'frills.'  f o r H^,  t o overcome  he d o e s  while  i t i s , f o r L u i and E l l e  L u i states  that  on n o t h i n g .  However,  acute they  not  He  'isma'  like  claims may  the very  be  crux  that  C ' e s t isma 1 ' i m p o r t a n t . Le crime n ' e s t qu'un e n j o l i v e m e n t . . . une s u r c h a r g e . . . i n u t i l e . Isma a s o i s e u l e . . . (p.36) Language stripped  o f i t smeaning  Elsewhere to  to  i n Sarraute's  certain  words.  expressions,  This  become  i s the t r o p i s t i c  sensitivity  a writer  catalyst  and reduced works even  I t has  t o i t sp h y s i c a l  are individuals  who  been  properties.  are  to the pronounciation of  i s a sign  i n Entre  i n Isma.  sensitive certain  of the c h i l d ' s p r e d e s t i n a t i o n  l a v i e e t l a mort.  The c h i l d  i sre-  20  pulsed  by  cation.  1  elongated Lui  and  Elle,  also  obsessed  by  ever  transfer  their  become  and  their  they the  Elle  also  are  words  as  potential  'vaalise' artists,  pronounciation.  hypersensitivity  out i s  to  of  the  sterile  only  to  aware  platitudes  tion  then,  such  infinitesimal  not  reaction,  are  point  an  i n  to  a r t i s t i c  or  as  I f  'vaaa-  they  they  use,  are can  they  w i l l  creators.  Lui by  vowels  posess  the of  of  undercurrents  ordinary,  and  artist's  pronounciation  the  others  an  everyday  who  spout  sensitivity certain  which  words,  swirl  conversation.  cliches  that  shown but  beneathc-  Lui  their  and  Elle  conversa-  imitative.  Lui: ...Ca s u f f i t maintenant, c'est lassant, a l a f i n . . . V o u s ne s e n t e z p a s comme g a f a i s a i t d e m o d e , t o u t g a , hein? t o u t a l ' h e u r e ? C_a f a i s a i t c o p i e d e c o p i e , v o u s n e trouvez pas? H : C o p i e de copie? E l l e : O u i , ce q u ' i l v e u t d i r e , c ' e s t que t o u t a l'heure, quand nous p a r l i o n s , ga l u i f a i s a i t 1 ' e f f e t d ' e t r e de 1 ' i m i t a t i o n . . . c ' e s t ga, n'est-ce pas?(p,15) Lui  and  ing  w r i t t e n today.  al  Elle  novel  was  a  Sarraute's During  'new  i n  inal  work  of  the  past.  must  present  the  product  Pierre  cerned are  twentieth  i n Le  with  repelled  l i f e  imitating  Despite Elle,.  to  dwell  the on  A  posing  see the fact the  l i f e  but  the  whoever i s  of  his  from as  a  of  writes  produce  Lui  new  as  a  novel an  Elle,  as  to-  orig-  material.  standpoint, and  beij.-,.  tradition-  'reality.'  ?  i s  He  Just con-  creators,  specifically,  novel.  characters l i f e ,  the  such  a r t , and more  century  novel  photocopying  reader's  imitating  surface  century,  imagination  fiction,  the  traditional  simply  c r e a t o r must  nineteenth that  of  nineteenth  century,  Mensonge,  truth  view  the  novel,'  day,  as  the  echo  they  i n  Isma,  are  except  Lui  a l l potential  and ere-  21  ators  to the extent  ,  and  usual  that  try to explain  way o f t h i n k i n g  opinion  they  use their  n  a phenomenon  and r e a s o n i n g .  a s t o why L u i  i m a g i n a t i o n . F,, F ,  and E l l e  They  dislike  which  surpasses the  a l l offer  their  the Dubuits.  suggests  L e s D u b u i t v o u s s o n t a n t i p a t h i q u e s . Un p o i n t , c ' e s t t o u t . Ce q u e v o u s s e n t e z c h e z l e s D u b u i t . . . d e vague, d ' i n d i c i b l e . . . c e q u i vous t i r e , ce q u i f l u c t u e . . . g a e v e i l l e c e q u ' o n nomme 1 ' a n t i p a t h i e . ( p . 2 2 ) F_  suggests  Dubuits,  to Elle  pretend  and L u i that  that  they  they  don't  should  simply  ignore the  exist.  F_: . . . j e n e l e v o i s p a s . C ' e s t comme s ' i l c e s s a i t d"*exister. Pourquoi l e s u p p o r t e r , s i ga m'est p e n i b l e ? (p.37) Elle  also  offers  an e x p l a n a t i o n .  Quelque chose q u i f i l t r e d'eux, q u i s ' i n s i n u e . . . g a vous a t t e i n t . . . g a f a i t se s o u l e v e r en vous...ga t r a v e r s e t o u s l e s a s p e c t s . . . g a v i e n t de r i e n . . . ( p . 2 6 ) None  of the solutions  problem  i s not to solve  ...Ils Although Elle the  sont  problem This  'reality:' silence.  i s never  i s , says  Lui,  up t h e  that  to try to solve  aversion to the Dubuits,  the problems  i n Le S i l e n c e ,  A c r e a t o r must  to voice  also  L e Mensonge  and Isma. An t o express h i s  i n the creative  be s e n s i t i v e  h i screativity.  process i s  t o t h e medium  The c r e a t i v e  an a u d i e n c e ,  creativity.  and components o f  h i s 'vision,'  component  The c r e a t o r needs his  imagination  inexplicable  has examined  A necessary  to confirm  To c o v e r  solved.  be w i l l i n g  he e x p r e s s e s  ciprocal. der  mysterious,  creativity  must  suffice.  l a . Indestructibles. Irreductibles.(p.25)  discussion  artistic  which  i t . The t r u t h  the characters use t h e i r  and L u i ' s  artist  o r suggestions  process  through i s  re-  a spectator or a rea-  I f a l l o f these  conditionsare  22  met,  a p o t e n t i a l c r e a t o r may become an a c t u a l c r e a t o r .  s e c o n d h a l f o f t h i s c h a p t e r on c o m m u n i c a t i o n w i l l d u c e d by a g e n e r a l analysing plays.  discussion  be  intro-  o f t r o p i s m s and language  c o m m u n i c a t i o n among t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s , o f  The  before  the three  23  A the  tropism  is a  subterranean  series feelings  of  consciousness.  It  In  other  tropism  of  a  of  tropisms.  words,  a  radio play How  where  lies  thoughts  below  the  i s never  Sarraute  the  only  In  interview with the  and  was  play  cribes  sensations,  feelings,:. metaphors , on  the  levels  to  means  Gretchen  difficulty  i n making  in  dialogue  the  is  the  nature  expression  tropisms  in  a  dialogue?  1976,  do  dialogue.  'spoken'  with  expression  R.. B e s s e r  spoken  The  communicate of  outermost^ffinge  of  'said.'  i s therefore incompatible  radio an  of  Sarraute work  of  des-  sub-  conversation. . . . D ' h a b i t u d e d a n s mes romans j e m o n t r e l e s mouvements i n t e r i e u r s des i m a g e s , l e d i a l o g u e n'en e s t que 1'about i s s e m e n t . I c i , t o u t d o i t e t r e exprime dans l e d i a l o g u e lui-meme. A l o r s l e s gens p a r - l e n t d'une m a n i e r e q u i p a r a i t t o u t a f a i t n a t u r e l l e , m a i s en r e a i i t e i l s d i s e n t des c h o s e s q u ' o n ne d i t j a m a i s , i l s e x p r i m e n t c e q u i s e p a s s e en eux.2 The  characters  everyday by  a  say  things  conversation.  pre-dialogue.  furious  with  her  literary  Her  subconversation  too  a  of  and  novel,  example  Alain  from  and  he  the Le  reveals only  a mild  i n the  to  be  normally  dialogue  refers as  anger.  to  is  She  is  The  towards  in  preceded shows  Germaine  'laide  u t t e r e d out  frustration  utter  Planetarium  Gisele,  r e v e a l s her  unacceptable  Eh b i e n , o u i , e l l q u ' e s t - c e que ga et e l l e e s t plus montre l ' a v e n i r . But,  a  not  l e b r u l e r , a:': 1' e c a r t e l e r . * ( p . 103)  cruel  says  In  would  f a t h e r because  the  tre,  idol  An  they  Gisele  Lemaire,  comme u n  'prete  a  le  pou. bat^  subconversation loud. her  What  Gisele  father.  e a t o n age, o u i , e l l e a t o n age. Et f a i t ? Tant p i s pour t o i . . E l l e a ton age j e u n e que n o u s . C ' e s t e l l e q u i n o u s T a n d i s que toi...(p.103)  radio plays,  the  dialogue  is unrealistic  as  is  i t  24  contains  the  presents  a  erary  situation  idol,  manifested the  sky  pre-dialogue.  H^,  a  of  feelings  the  of  above  example  has  His  Le  Planetarium  deceived  inarticulate  a metaphor  his  been  from  compares  by  his  l i t -  uneasiness  his  is  'vertige'  to  head.  t o u r n e a u - d e s s u s de l u i , l e s a s t r e s b o u g e n t , d e p l a c e r l e s p l a n e t e s , un v e r t i g e , une angoisse,  sentiment  one  Alain  Lemaire.  tropism-  whirling  ...le ciel i l v o i t se un  where  Germaine by  Another  de  panique  characters  'vertige'  le  prend...(p.249)  i n Le  because  Silence,  he  i s so  experiences  upset  by  the  same  Jean-Pierre's  silence. ...Au entre Elle,  in  secours...je perds pied, je c i e l et terre...oh...(p.68)  suis  Isma,  movements  and  her  Les  Dubuit,  This  also  partner,  reveals  L u i , have  pronounce  obsession  festers  internal an  'isme'  aversion when  i n her  deporte,  to  the  seul  externally. way  their  i t comes  at  the  end  until,  like  a  boil,  mind  She  friends,  of  a  word.  i t sv i r -  r  ulence  b u r s t s . She  would  like  to  exterminate  the  Dubuits.  . . . p a r moments, moi j e p o u r r a i s , r i e n que p o u r c a , a l i g n e r devant l e mur. Dresser les gibets...Detruire. Exterminer... Sans r e m i s s i o n . Sans p i t i e . ( p . 3 6 ) Thus, of  the  outward But,  conformity  despite  dialogue are  c h a r a c t e r s ' speech  to  banal  and  communicate  expression  i s unnatural,  are  to  or  liable  understand.  spectator to  acters  without  inner  i t s plunges  remains  trying  and  to  into  radio plays  these they  the  deep  must  use  i n the with  zones,  Because  interior  Similarly,  deal  is a  mixture  commentary.  commonplace.  participate having  i n the  Sarraute's her  movements  language  Sarraute  barrier  whose  that  wants  same e x p e r i e n c e the  characters  of  oral  'others' the  as  reader  the  char-  difficult  25  language. The  characters  a l s o , as a r u l e ,  p e r s o n a l i t y . O n l y one c h a r a c t e r  lack s p e c i f i c  identity or  i n L e S i l e n c e h a s a name. He  i s J e a n - P i e r r e , t h e one who i s s i l e n t t h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y . A l t h o u g h he h a s a name, he f u n c t i o n s a n o n y m o u s l y , a s do t h e r e s t o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s who a r e l a b e l e d E L , H_, F,, F_ a n d F_. F u r t h ~T  ermore, t h e o n l y reason t h a t S a r r a u t e radio plays choice  —Z"  1  i s t o f o r e s t a l l monotony. S a r r a u t e  of d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g  —27  distributes  —ZT  roles i n her  explains  this  the roles.  J e l e f a i s p r e s q u e au h a s a r d , p o u r q u ' i l y a i t un c h a n g e ment de v o i x . . . M a i s c e ne s o n t p a s d e s p e r s o n n a g e s que j ' a i c h e r c h e a c r e e r . En t r a v a i l l a n t , j e ne l e s d i s t i n g u e g u e r e l e s uns d e s a u t r e s . 3  Why d i d S a r r a u t e qui s'appelle  choose t o w r i t e about a s i l e n c e ,  a l i e o r 'ce  r i e n ' ? H e r a i m was t o make t h e a c t u a l s u b j e c t o f  t h e p l a y as i n s i g n i f i c a n t as p o s s i b l e s o t h a t t h e ' i n v i s i b l e ' w o u l d o c c u p y t h e p l a c e o f honour, and t o p r e v e n t f r o m b e c o m i n g d i s t r a c t e d b y what was g o i n g Sarraute  states  the reader  on on t h e s u r f a c e .  that  Ce q u i m ' i n t e r e s s e , c ' e s t de d e c o u v r i r d e s t r o p i s m e s d a n s ce q u i a p p a r a i t comme i n s i g n i f i a n t , i n i n t e r e s s a n t , dans l e s s i t u a t i o n s ou l ' o n p e u t c r o i r e q u ' i l ne s e p a s s e r i e n . C ' e s t q u a n d i l ne s e p a s s e r i e n que c e l a m ' i n t e r e s s e de v o i r c e q u i se p a s s e en r e a i i t e . . . ^ F o r e x a m p l e , i f M a d e l e i n e , i n L e Mensonge h a d l i e d a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y h a d h u r t someone's f e e l i n g s o r i f t h e l i e h a d g e n e r a t e d serious repurcussions, face. Likewise silence,  t h e drama w o u l d n e v e r h a v e l e f t  the sur-  i n Le S i l e n c e , under the s t r e s s o f J e a n - P i e r r e ' s  the characters  g e t / a g i t a t e d , r e s t l e s s and even  suffer.  B u t when, i n t h e e n d , t h e y come b a c k up t o t h e s u r f a c e , w h a t has  taken  place?  E •••••remarks n  —T  26  ...Je  n'ai  rien  remarque.(p.74)  The s i l e n c e w a s ,  therefore,  catalyst  less noticeable-  final of  is  syllable  Isma i s  the  even  plays  ' i s m e i ! Nothing  "ce q u i  s'appelle  silence  -  tr-oys  deliberate  the  tropisms  certain  Similarly,  trivial  board f o r elements  and t h e  emotional stimulate  words.  that  Sarraute's  in  caused  speech- a  affect  the  the  negation wall  of  that  a laugh,  the  react.  His  spring-  subversive  communication. of  P e o p l e need words i n o r d e r  power o f  However,  these  communication i s ,  However,  into  s i l e n c e become t h e words,  course, to  m • •  On e n t e n d un f a i b l e  the  communi-  importance  of  words  an i n t o n a t i o n  or  a silence.  reaction  Jean-Pierre  sets  the  in  rire.  Vous avez  is  Le  conversation  • -j «  pro-  s t o p s communi-  characters, share.  other  the  s p e e c h , des%-  s p e e c h by c a l l i n g  c o n v e r s a t i o n and t h u s  to  of  motion. H  the  The  These elements  a blank  the  plays.  or  The sudden s i l e n c e and s u b s e q u e n t l a u g h o f Silence  in  a lie,  unobtrusive  social world.  u n d e r m i n e d by t h e  of  language-,  r e s p o n s e s . In  spoken o r w r i t t e n word. i n our  title  thrust  events,  an e l e m e n t  annihilates  The most p o p u l a r medium f o r  cate  is  A silence,  a lie  good f a i t h lie  the  the the  alternate  s u r f a c e of  heart of  c o n v e r s a t i o n by e r e c t i n g  q u e s t i o n the  the  Isma,  p r o n o u n c i a t i o n of  therefore  suppressions of  communication.  cation.  the  forms  activates  pronounciation of cess of  rien";  In  tropisms.  Language i t s e l f that  the  ' h a p p e n s ' - the  i s what goes on b e l o w  obscure regions of  catalyst  scarcely noticeable.  entendu?  m  27  Vous l ' e n t e n d e z ?  I I n'a p a s pu l e c o n t e n i r . Ca a d e b o r d e . F^, t r e s d i g n e : C ' e s t J e a n - P i e r r e q u i v i e n t de r i r e . A v o u ez q u ' o n r i r a i t a moins.' C ' e s t v r a i m e n t tordant. C'est l u i q u i deborde, i l p a r a i t . F^: Jean-Pierre...Mais ce n'est pas p o s s i b l e , ce n'est p a s de l u i que v o u s p a r l e z ? F^: J e a n - P i e r r e , s i p a i s i b l e , s i g e n t i l . . . H : De q u i v o u l e z - v o u s q u e c e s o i t ? De q u i d ' a u t r e , j e vous l e demande...Mais v o u s . v o u l e z e n c o r e me p r o v o q u e r . . . (p.53) In  Le Mensonge,  Madeleine's other his  t h e drama  'lie'.  characters  intolerant  has been  P i e r r e cannot  engage  in a  obsession.  starts  telling  Pierre  thinks  she i s l y i n g .  thinks begs  s h e was  that  h e r t o admit  Simone  to help  Pierre  she c l a i m s  i n Switzerland lying.  that  of  so t h e  overcome  o f t h e game,  claims  she has been  because  someone l y i n g ,  i n Seine-et-Oise.  living  that  'game'  a s t o r y which  living  s h e was  bear  In the middle  Simone  cupation,  s e t i n motion  when  i s a t r u e one, during  However, during  t h e Oc-  Pierre  t h e war, and  Finally,  Simone  gives i n . Simone r i t : Bon, bon, b i e n etes contents? (p.98) Pierre, laugh  however,  distorts  sur, je jouais...Voila.  i s not convinced  the value  by h e r c o n f e s s i o n .  Vous  Her  o f h e r words.  P i e r r e : . . . C ' e t a i t t o u t a f a i t imprevu, ce bond en a r r i e r e , au d e r n i e r moment...En l a i s s a n t c e l a p l a n t e en m o i : c e p e t i t r i r e . . . c o m m e un d a r d . . . ( p . 9 9 ) He  keeps  ious truth  on r e p e a t i n g  intonations when  Simone's  to determine  she s a i d  s h e was  words,  testing  them  with  whether  s h e was  telling  var-  the  lying.  P i e r r e : O u i . Bon, j e veux b i e n . . . ( T o n f r a n c ) . Bon, bon... b i e n s u r , j e j o u a i s . ( I I r i t doucement)...Bon, bon, b i e n sur...(Ton hypocrite). Je jouais...(p.101) In  much  t h e same  way, L u i  and E l l e  i n Isma  are obsessed  with  28  the  Dubuits  uation words  of  and  words  that  the  and  of  a  question  to  understand  others.  are In  their or  series  express  i f words  arises:  Words  only  'isme.'  unimportance  words  Therefore,  in  silence  a whole  relative  quacy  and  or  pronounciation of  ending  matters,  intonation, sation  their  to  each  are  by  one  utterance  and  of  the  word,  power  emotional  of  words  extent  to  silence  of  to  admit  that  un  absolutely  seul  emphasizes the  inade-  reactions.  communicate,  actually  the  communicate  maintain  living  another,  and  's  thing which  set shows  lyrical  affective  contact in  with motion  the  power  monologue  silence.  H_^_  im-  mot  de  vous  et  on  se  sentirait  dites  occurs she  these  two  quelque i n Le  was  c h o s e , (p.59)  Mensonge  when  Pierre  beseeches  lying.  mot.(p.96) Silence  finally  does  speak,  what  he  says  insignificant.  Jean-Pierre:  crisis.  is a  and  language.  petit  When J e a n - P i e r r e i n L e  But  conver-  talk.  parlez enfin,  ...juste  is  people  and  the  slight  trigger  and  to  a  of  him-  same p h e n o m e n o n  Simone  do  r e s o l v e d by  Jean-Pierre to  The  i n order  accent-  meaning  reactions  feelings  establish  plores  Mais  can  themselves  true  J ean-Pierre' s unnerving  H_j_ b e g s  laugh  of  caused  J u s t e un mot. Un d e l i v r e s . (p.55)  the  tiny  pronounciation. That slight  our  a  other?  Silence,  the  I t i s not  necessary  what  necessary  Le  a  'isme'-  De  simple  However,  Labovic?(p.73) words  reestablish  maintaining  order  contact with  and  people  resolve does  not  the nec-  29  e s s a r i l y mean t h a t meaningfully.  the  communication p r o c e s s i s  The c h a r a c t e r s  a society that  seeks s e c u r i t y  Le S i l e n c e beg J e a n - P i e r r e cliches  resort  one a f t e r  to  in  to  c l i c h e s , key words  conformity.  speak.  functioning in  The c h a r a c t e r s  in  They s p o u t m e a n i n g l e s s  another.  F^: C ' e s t v r a i J e a n - P i e r r e , d i t e s quelque c h o s e . . . F^: D e c i d e m e n t , J e a n - P i e r r e nous m e p r i s e . . . F^: J e a n - P i e r r e , vous m a n g o i s s e z . . . H^: A l l o n s , J e a n - P i e r r e , taisez-vous...(p.64) 1  Likewise,  the  characters  s e d when P i e r r e Yvonne: Lucie:  Moi a u s s i .  Je n'en  by t h e i r  d e r any f l o w  of  understanding.  nature,  ideas.  The d i a l o g u e  no a r g u m e n t s , anyone o f  their  words a r e  suggests  At  Isma, Until  this Isma.  this  terre.  oreilles...(p.79) redundant  and do n o t  although the  follows  neither  an i n s t a n t a n e o u s  no d i s c u s s i o n s  anything,  at  dislike  of  the  least,  characters  L u i and E l l e 1  Ma.  Elle  has a  a time sequence nor exchange i n  which  is  means.  in  Isma d i s c o v e r  it  is  simply because  a favourable  "On a 1' i m p r e s s i o n § q u i l  moment,  en-  mutual  n o t by l o g i c a l  Dubuits,  spoken which c r e a t e  engen-  o r no p e r s u a s i o n . No one  when L u i and E l l e  t h a t what b o t h e r s  H_£ o b s e r v e s t h a t (p.32)  is  happen- i . e .  cause of  certain  respond i n c l i c h e s -  m e a n i n g l e s s c l i c h e s seldom promote  there  When t h i n g s  are  Therefore,  sequence. It  the  sous  c r o y a i s pas mes  a logical  convinces  lying,  embarras-  J e ne s a v a i s pas ou me m e t t r e .  very  dialogue,  are  of  feel  O h . On m o u r a i t .  Jacques:  gage i n  accuses Madeleine  J ' a u r a i s voulu rentrer  Simone:  Cliches,  i n Le M e n s o n g e , who a l l  their  climate.  'rire  glace.'  v o u s c l a q u e au  nez."  revelation.  Ma...(p.33)  favourable  climate  is  established,  there  is  F^_  only  30  misunderstanding, The  characters  again, the  put  hope  sists  Vous  start  inside  c r e a t i n g the  talking  i n Le  that  no.: a m o u n t  only  about  n ' a l l e z pas  Pierre, admit  can  themselves  of  on  which  was  any  their  logical  by  lying,  pattern,  the  language,  ished  and  ineffectual between  Communication person  therefore, ing  to  the  power  H_^_  his  while  simply y  at  a?  the  Ah.  level  is  asks  clear  up.  situation magic  in  When L u i  in-  him:  to  Ca  vous  Simone  her. reprend?  dialogue  must  speech.  Vous  does  constantly  contact,  of  make  not  follow  'recommence .  becomes  impovers  Communication,  \;:;: :  limited. also,  reality  for himself.  understand  the  verbal  exasperates  maintaining  limited  perceives only  of  determination  characters  people  is  into  atmosphere.  c l i c h e - r i d d e n , meaningless  So,  each  by  enter  can  recommencer?(p.15)  cer'.  therefore,  again,  Dubuits,  Simone: Qu'est-ce q u ' i l recommencez?(p.95) Since  explanation  appropriate  the  Mensonge,  she  of  of  from  course,  his  Pierre,  whether  Simone  j e vous  vois.  is  own  the  fact  that  of  view  and,  point  i n Le lying  by  Mensonge, or  playing  when the  trygame,  admits Mais, Of  course,  another an  moi,  the  because  person,  observer  sees  moi  in  others  i t i s impossible  Pierre will this  Votre  same  backing  never  scene, her  into  to  know  feels a  oeil  pas  enter  into  Simone sorry  derriere...(p.95) the  fully.  mind  of  Lucie,  f o r Simone  as  she  corner.  L u c i e : V o i l a , c ' e s t c e que j e c r a i g n a i s , c ' e s t declenche... l e u r c o n v o i t i s e , leur a v i d i t e . . . i l s vont l u i a r r a c h e r ca, i l s l a t r a q u e n t , i l s l a p r e s s e n t , l e u r s t i g e s de f e r f o u - r - . l e . i l l e n t , e l l e s e t e r r e . . . un p e t i t a n i m a l t r a q u e . . . s e s yeux e f f r a y e s . l e s observent, e l l e p a l p i t e , toute chaude...et moi,  31  comme Yvonne,  elle...(p.97)  who s e e s h e r  differently.  She t e l l s  Mais vous r e v e z . In his  Le S i l e n c e , lyrical feels  his is  point  own r e a l i t y ,  of  they view  'seeing'  les  regarde  d'un o e i l  e m b a r r a s s e d t h a t he g o t  monologue.  that  S o , when t h e  are  making  others  fun of  one d i r e c t l y  him.  opposite  only  ter  may n o t  ferently his  c a n anyone n o t  at  se moque,  really  in  beg h i s  away w i t h  to  continue,  S o , he j u d g e s  from  others.  Who  e v e n know h i m s e l f different  times.  advance,  imitated,  c u s e d and a c c u s o r . H  n  Oh n o n , ne v o u s  v o y o n s . . . (p. 52)  know anyone e l s e ,  but  b e c a u s e he p e r c e i v e s H^_, i n Le S i l e n c e ,  own words were p i c k e d up i n  self,  carried  reality?  Nous moquer? M a i s q u i  Not  same s c e n e  glacial.(p.97)  from t h e  H , : N o n , a r r e t e z , j e v o u s en s u p p l i e . moquez pas de m o i . . . PI^:  the  Lucie  Elle  is  interprets  advance  attacked.  vows t h a t  things  believes  and he i m a g i n e s  He p l a y s  he w i l l  a charac-  force  two  difthat  him-  roles,  Jean-Pierre  acto  react. H : J e v a i s l e s d e c r i r e , m o i , c e s a u v e n t s , e t on v o u s o B l i g e r a , que v o u s l e v o u l i e z ou n o n . Vous s e r e z f o r c e . . . II a r e p e t e f o r c e ? Vous a v e z d i t f o r c e , en r i a n t . F : N o n , c ' e s t moi q u i l ' a i d i t . Comme un e c h o . H : N o n , i l l ' a d i t a u s s i : J e l ' a i e n t e n d u . II l'a dit. F o r c e ? en r i a n t . F o r c e , moi? V o i l a c e q u ' i l a d i t . F o r c e ? 1  Qui peut Two m a j o r  forcer?  factors  f i c i e n c y of a unique  le  (p.67)  impede  verbal  e x p r e s s i o n and t h e  and f l u c t u a t i n g  no one e l s e  can f u l l y  Sarraute's  radio  satisfactory  v e r s i o n .of  share  plays  and  communication: fact  the  inef-  t h a t e a c h p e r s o n has  r e a l i t y which,  obviously,  appreciate.  continue  the  t r e a t m e n t and d i s c o u r s e  32  -underlying tropisms point  i n her novels,  must  be  audible.  b u t t h e medium Pierre,  out the forcefulness  of a  i s more  refined.  i n Le Mensonge, w i s h i n g  statement  uses  the  The to  familiar  expression, Ca but  he  crevait  corrects  ...ou By  plutot  giving  himself: l e s tympans.(p.99)  pre-eminence  d i a l e c t i c a l , verbal  l e s yeux.  Sarraute  impact.  to the auditory makes  over  her audience  the visual  receptive  to a  and the purely  33  Footnotes  A l a i n R o b b e - G r i l l e t , " N a t u r e , humanisme, tragedie ( 1 9 5 8 ) , " i n P o u r un Nouveau Roman ( P a r i s : L e s E d i t i o n s de M i n u i t , 1963). p . 4 7 . x  2 G r e t c h e n R. B e s s e r , " C o l l o q u e a v e c N a t h a l i e Sarraute 22 a v r i l 1 9 7 6 , " i n The F r e n c h R e v i e w , V o l . L , N o . 2 ( 1 9 7 6 ) , p.288. 3  Ibid,  p.288.  4  Ibid,  p.287.  CHAPTER I I :  CREATIVITY AND COMMUNICATION  IN  ENTRE LA V I E ET LA MORT AND VOUS LES ENTENDEZ ? The  second  chapter  sion  of a r t i s t i c  with  t h e components  artist  creativity  to freely  material.  requires  certain  to  t h e medium  the is  him i n t o  literary  aute's Isma. tors the  through  three  The second  must  radio  part  three  plays.  Several  person nature  modified. know  one's  impossible This plays  has a unique of the world,  I t i s therefore self  o r anyone  chapter  will  to a consideration  et  l a mort  la  v i e e t l a mort  character ient While  impossible  diverge  and Vous  o f Vous  the l i t e r a r y  of  Sarr-  Le Mensonge and of the fac-  the protagonists  in  First,  Secondly,  due t o t h e c h a n g -  being  disturbed  f o r anyone  Thus,  from  mutual  to  and  really  understanding i s  the discussion  of Sarraute's  l e s Entendez?.  l e s Entendez?  novels,  of  imaginative  l a vie  of  while  i s the art-lover,  and t h e a r t - l o v e r  radio  Entre  The p r o t a g o n i s t  the creator,  of the author's artist  discussion  limited.  i s the author,  of the product  This  feelings.  which,  i s constantly  sensitive  communication.  deep  perspective  else.  be  to  his creativity- i . e .  among  limit  artist  necessary  I i s an a n a l y s i s  express  f o r an  the  as w e l l ,  Le S i l e n c e ,  factors  and communication  process,  I dealt"  new a n d  of the protagonists  understanding  not adequately  t h e need  s e n s i t i v e t o words.  plays,  discus-  Chapter  i s sometimes  he e x p r e s s e s  of Chapter  mutual  each  be  the  and t o p r e s e n t  He m u s t ,  an a n a l y s i s  impede  does  process-  Silence  effort.  which  that  language  ing  a creative  continue  and communication.  his 'vision'  conditions.  through  first  will  To p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s  artist  developed  thesis  of the creative  express  original  prod  of this  Entre  t h e main  the recip-  creation.  fulfill  very  diff-  35  erent the  functions  art object  i n the  which  creative process,  links  la.vie  et  cipating  i n the  actual  creative process.  itself  i n the  into  manifests words.  writer  has  critical cal  upon  captured.  tize  i t into  process.  creativity,  the  i s an  nature  titudes The  between  of  necessary nalizes  with  each  other.  the  product  the  becauseztheiinitial the  initial  art-lover, part  examines,  by of  of  Chapter  the  will  language  discuss  given  la vie  will  allow  yond  the  confines  vels  are  written  conversation'.  us  An  the  the  Chapter  eyes  et  l a mort  to  c a r r y out  of  the  almost  of  a  I,  Vous  and  takes  on  to  not  concrein  the  the  artist's  In  at-  approaches  to  art.  the  pro-  on  first  how  of a l l  Sarraute  the  radio  place  consciousnesses  exterplays.  are  communication fact,  the  Thus  in  of  of  the  art-lover,  les Entendez?  study  word.  has  conflict  i t was  nature  exclusively  action that  possibility  and  spoken  the  of  concentrate  used  spoken  half,  succeed to  criti-  creative process.  innovative  II  and  responding  through  and  sensation  The  the  i . e . the  i t i s to  the  So,  creative  feeling  destroying  to  Entre  of  some-  sensations.  creative half  In  tropisms,  the  argue  communication.  they  nates  which  the  parti-  transformed  to  traditional  half  through  is  process  sensation  a e s t h e t i c a p p r e c i a t i o n and  second  cesses  Since  of  he  rise  integral  les Entendez?  a  This  as  give  without The  of  writer  words  capture  words  form  the  times,  rereading  To  examines  destroys  'dead',  been  Vous  halves often  i t is  creative  l a mort  other  two  half  half,  decides  At  vibrate  them.  Entre  times  both  these  level on  this  of  novels, be-  two  no--  'sous-  level  communicating  elimiwith  36  each  other.  Therefore,  the  different  and  understand  erdependent and  characters each  the  does  not  the  spoken  word  to  the  importance  ing  I  another  spoken  transform  ion  of  les  Entendez?  know his  expectations.  Chapter tivity  II and  Entre  will  how  his  to  the  in  'feel' an  int-  exchange of  'roles'  'sous-con-  inefficiency  feelings,  inarticulate  i t  of  underlines  language  which  individual be  seen  of  really  perceives here  of  the  Entre  and  world.  that  la vie  phenomenon of  et  a  person  and  in  i s compounded:  lines  elaborate  influe-  subconversat-  l a mort  another  these  The  on  person or  know-  reality  either, because;different  i s along  continue  impossibility  to  a  person  f i t his  directions  the  Vous  subject  that  of  crea-  communication.  la vie  et  l a mort  i n f a t u a t i o n with  ipt,  the  r e a c t i o n of  his  fame.  Vous  the  traditional  appreciation. a  deep  each  this  the  of  able  They  they  exclusiveness  i t will  in  eer-  ideas  are  this  conception  It  osmosis.  demonstrate  perception  protagonists  distort  of  are  the  himself  shows  sort  among  word.  Furthermore,  fully  communication  they  unspoken,  because  nces  own  the  of  a  communicate  person  not  to  directly  means  intertwined  While  discussed  does  the  So  also  differently.  tends  of  the  Chapter  i s by  other.  other.  versation'  below  only  relationship that  'become'  lies  the  the  traces words,  family,  les Entendez? and  This  father  and  his  steps  of  a writer's  the * submission  of  the  his  centres  innovative opposition  the  acclaim on  the  of  the  conflict  car-  manuscr-  work  and  between  approachesctoaartaahdaaesthetic i s p e r s o n i f i e d by  children, while  the  the  forum  contrary for  the  37  drama as  a  i s the topic  for  ion-packed Entre to  family enclave. intellectual  tropisms l a vie  explain his  et  of  This  discourse  everyday  l a mort  creative  opposition  i s manifested  but  i n  the  the  mature  form  of  not emot-  l i f e .  opens  with  author  trying  activity.  Sur l a page blanche, l e s mots, l e s phrases, se forment. M i r a c l e . Comment p e u t - o n ? C ' e s t un g r a n d mystere.(p.8) This  attempt  emplation seems for  to  of  trace  his  are  From  the  an  the  early  foreshadow  words  work.  to  of  childhood.  his  very  early  roots  his His  writing  sensitivity  predestination for tools  age,  he  with  which  played  leads  a  with  a  to  to  words  as  cont-  language  literary  literary  a  career,  a r t i s t  i f they  must were  toys. H e r a u l t , h e r a u t , h e r o s , a i r e h a u t , e r r e h a u t , R.O. . . .. l e b r u i t du t r a i n a a c c r o c h e c e l a , l e b r u i t cadence des r o u e s v a t r a i n e r ga p e n d a n t des h e u r e s , l e s images se s u c c e d e n t de p l u s en p l u s v i t e . . . a u s s i t o t l e mot p r o n o n c e , 1'image a p p a r a i t . . . l e s mots t o u r a t o u r l e s s o u l e v e n t , l e s s o r t e n t , on p e u t l e s i n t e r v e t i r sans r a l e n t i r l e u r mouvement rythme s u r l e b r u i t des roues... (p.32) A  literary  later the  on,  a r t i s t they  writer The  of  centration.  vie  l a mort  forced  his  sensation  to  form  Sometimes  a  is  be  own  able  of  to  their  manipulate own  creative  words  give  explores  withdraw  produce  rise the  into  to  volition.  demanding a  words.  new  I t  so  that,  i s then  reflexion  sensation  The  creative act himself  words  that  powers.  c r e a t i o n i s complex,  times, et  can  knows  act  must  writer  twice.  i n order  to  i n  Both  and  and  con-  other  Entre  l a  times  he  capture  ..vthe w r i t e r ' s s e n s a t i o n at the i n s t a n t of creation, t r a n s c r i b i n g t h e i c r e a t i v e i i m p u l s ei t s e l f , like a tropism at i t s incipient stage.^  38  It  is  then  t h a t he i s  independently  of  able  his w i l l .  and f o r m i n g b e a u t i f u l  t o w a t c h words  f o r m i n g on t h e  Words a r e  a fountain,  like  page  erupting  arabesques.  L a , i l l u i semble q u ' i l p e r c o i t . . . O n d i r a i t q u ' i l y a l a comme un b a t t e m e n t , une p u l s a t i o n . . . C e l a s ' a r r e t e , r e p r e n d p l u s f o r t , s ' a r r e t e de nouveau e t r e c o m m e n c e . . . C ' e s t comme l e p e t i t b r u i t i n t e r m i t t e n t , o b s t i n e , l e grattement, le grignotement leger q u i • r e v e j e a c e l u i q u i 1 ' e c o u t e t o u t t e n d u dans l e s i l e n c e de l a n u i t une presence v i v a n t e . . . ( p . 6 4 ) And,  further  on,  speaking of  the  words  again:  I l s se d e p l o i e n t , l e f i l q u i l e s t r a v e r s e se t e n d , i l s v i b r e n t . . . i l e c o u t e comme s ' e p a n d e n t l e u r s : r e s o n a n c e s . . . S e u l a v e c e u x , l u i - m e m e c o m p l e t e m e n t r e d r e s s e , h o r s de l a s u b s t a n c e m o l l e e t f a d e ou i l e t a i t p l o n g e , i l s ' e n c h a n t e de l e u r s mouvements, l e s p l a c e e t l e s d e p l a c e p o u r q u ' i l s f o r m e n t des a r a b e s q u e s p l u s savamment c o n t o u r n e e s . . . i l s u i t f a s c i n e , l e u r s mouvements, i l s m o n t e n t , d e s c e n d e n t , s ' e l a n c e n t e n c o r e e t r e t o m b e n t . II les guide a v e c p r e c a u t i o n . . . (p.93) However, artist that  after  overpowers  he g o t  losing  rereading the  carried  the  creation,  creative  half.  away w i t h t h e  t o u c h w i t h the  initial  the  critical  Then t h e  language  half  artist  as s u c h ,  of  the  realizes thereby  feeling.  J e s u i s a l l e j u s q u ' a mes l i m i t e s e x t r e m e s , j u s q u ' a u b o u t de mes f o r c e s . . . - B e a u r e s u l t a t . C ' e s t m o r t . Pas un s o u f f l e de v i e . . . ( p . 9 8 ) So,  the  writer  himself  d i e s when t h e  impulse  is  stifled.  L u i s e u l ne s a i t p a s , i n s t a l l e i c i , r e v e t u de s e s beaux h a b i t s , r a s e de p r e s , f a r d e , v i d e , e t embaume, p r e s i d a n t a l a r e c e p t i o n donnee en son h o n n e u r dans l e s a l o n d ' u n F u n e r a l Home. (p.223) When t h e bit  of  ces of propels  writer  renews  the  creative  p l a y i n g w i t h words and d e l v e inspiration. the  he r e a l i z e s  creative  act,  down/to  He must r e c a p t u r e process.  he must b r e a k  the  His c r e a t i v e  t h a t he must f o l l o w  'this  the  r e d i s c o v e r the  initial half  feeling  takes  untouched l i v i n g  over  hasourthat as  thing'  39  wherever  it  leads  him.  L a s u i v r e ou e l l e v o u d r a . . . E l l e q u i ne se l a i s s e pas n o m m e r . . . c e que j e s e n s . . . (p. 252) The d i f f i c u l t y words  to  art  of  express his  freshness of  is,  course, that 'vision',  and s p o n t a n e i t y  must r a d i a t e  of  yet  the  a literary  artist  words t e n d  to  original  c  needs  kill  the  s e n s a t i o n . The  work  life.  . . . e n s e m b l e r e g a r d o n s . . . e s t - c e que c e l a se d e g a g e , se d e p o s e . . . c o m m e s u r l e s m i r o i r s q u ' o n a p p r o c h e de l a bouche des m o u r a n t s . . . u n e f i n e buee?(p.254) The t i t l e creative tend of  to  Entre  la vie  et  l a mort  e x p r e s s i o n , which threatens concretize  language.  feeling,  The r o l e  of  impossible task,  Vous ting is  les  after  from the  statue  on t h e  into  of  table  c h i l d r e n are  artist  beast  father sound o f  the  any  is  to  of  minute.Words boundaries  capture  the  off  and h i s  friend  ringing Earlier,  the  laughing at  aesthetic  father taste  sit-  laughter while  the  a pre-colum-  the m a n t e l - p i e c e ,  Now,  a  demonstrate.  g u e s t had t a k e n  and a d m i r e d i t . his  at  novels i r o n i c a l l y  room u p s t a i r s .  w i t h them,  a mythical  die  fragility  words w i t h o u t d e s t r o y i n g i t ,  when t h e  children's  the  s e n s a t i o n escapes the  creative  as t h e  dinner,  c h i l d r e n were s t i l l bian  to  E n t e n d e z ? opens w i t h t h e  quietly  heard  yet  the  s e n s a t i o n and t r a n s p o s e i t nearly  reflects  placed  surmises that and h i s  idea  it  the of  art. For is  the  father,  a sacred object  Art,  for  him,  art  is  catalogued,  c l a s s i f i e d . The  t h a t has been handed down f o r  statuette  generations.  is  Q u e l q u e c h o s e de f i x e , s u r l e c o u r s du t e m p s ,  d'immuable...Un obstacle place un c e n t r e i m m o b i l e a u t o u r d u q u e l  40  le  temps,  Contrary ren's For  retenu,  tourne,  to the father's  idea  them,  which  d e s c e r c l e s . . . (p.. 73)  traditional  incarnates  a r ti s free  forme  viewpoint  the theories  i s the child-  o f t h e new n o v e l i s t s .  and spontaneous.  Nous, m e s s i e u r s , vous s a v e z , on n'a p a s d'amour-propre d ' a u t e u r , on ne c h e r c h e p a s a f a b r i q u e r l ' o b j e t r a r e , l a p i e c e de c o l l e c t i o n . . . a u c u n e v i s e e de r i c h e s s e , de g l o i r e proche ou l o i n t a i n e . . . N o u s sommes d e t a c h e s , t r e s p u r s . T o u s e g a u x . . . (p.176) The  children  change  believe,  as does  a s d o t h e new n o v e l i s t s ,  father  his  children  has t r i e d  avail.  This  to  the creator,  with  others.  fore  this  to i n s t i l l  by t a k i n g  no  a r t should  society.  C a n e p o r t e p a s d e nom, c o m p r e n d s - t u . . . P l u s d ' e t i q u e t t e s , de d e f i n i t i o n s . . . ( p . 1 7 9 ) The  that  need  them  who i s e a g e r  'religious'  o f good  to A r tgalleries  t o share  The f a t h e r  h i sidea  h i saesthetic t o share  makes  de noms,  taste  into  a n d museums, t o  enjoyment  h i screative  the children  plus  i s similar  enthusiasm  bow r e p e a t e d l y  be-  object.  N ' a - t - o n m o n t r e , comme i l s e d e v a i t , d u r e s p e c t ? Ne s ' e s t - o n p a s a p p r o c h e , comme s i o n l e r e g a r d a i t p o u r l a p r e m i e r e f o i s , de l ' o b j e t s a c r e ? N ' a i - j e p a s e t e j u s q u ' a p o s e r , m o i a u s s i - V o u s m ' a v e z v u ? - ma m a i n pieusement...(p.17) The  father,  i n order  vival,  needs  artist  depends  art.  only  his  'vision'  recipient is  the approval  and i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n  continually  changing  its  sur-  Similarly, the literary  creation  confounded  of the artist's  and i n s u r e  f o r t h e s u r v i v a l o f h i s work o f  of artistic  i s the artist  h i sbelief  of others.  on t h e reader  The f r a g i l i t y  Not  to confirm  i s therefore  by t h e discrepancy through  creativity  a medium,  o n whom  a s he c o n f o r m s  compounded. between but the  the artist  to the taste  depends,  o f those  41  around la  him.  mort  the  extent  that  v a c i l l a t e s between  approval its  To  of  his  children,  the  his so  father  aesthetic  the  in  Entre  taste  statuette  la vie  and  et  winning  crumbles  and  the  loses  vibrations. R i e n ne v i b r e , n ' i r r a d i e , n ' e m a n e , ne c o u l e , ne s ' e p a n d . . . I l n ' y a r i e n l a . . . r i e n ne vaille...Une p i e r r e g r u m u l e u s e , d'un g r i s sale, grossierement t a i l l e e . Une bete pataude, courtaude, assez informe... (p.46)  Aesthetic approval  tastes both  the  Creativity, an  artist  tion  his  are  creator  by  reconstructs  who  remains  a  the  the  father  i n Vous  for  they  writer  both  as  a  the  art-lover  reality.  the  the  majority  He  must  is  Entre  are  the  the  et  his  fic-  character creator.  l a mort  potential  of  that  character  potential  scenarios  lives  as  each  la vie  both or  a  demands  present  Silence,  play,  whose  solicit.  definition,  Le  characters  recreates  by  Jean-Pierre,  in  Entendez?  reconstruct boy  In  for  adolescent  les  and  original.  throughout  young  small  shaped  personality  silent  Similarly,  of  and  nature  something  version  who  and  i t s very  produce own  modelled  and  creators,  orally.  The  ancestors-  Mon p e r e e t a i t b r e t o n . M e l t i n e de n o r m a n d . S o n p e r e a l u i . . . O n d i t d a n s l a f a m i l l e que je l u i ressemble... d a n s s a j e u n e s s e , i l a v a i t e t e m a r b i e r . On r a c o n t e que p a r f o i s i l l u i a r r i v a i t de m o d i f i e r l e s f o r m u l e s que son p a t r o n l u i f a i s a i t g r a v e r s u r l e s monuments, s u r les s t e l e s funeraires. II e t a i t tres gai, i l aimait les f a c e t i e s . I I c r o y a i t aux r e v e n a n t s , i l r a c o n t a i t des h i s t o i r e s de fantomes...(p.13) In ren  Vous are  trying their  les  Entendez?,  laughing to  force  suspected  at his  his  the  is  aesthetic  taste  mockery  father  on  and  his his  convinced  taste  and  children. own  guilt,  he  that feels  his  child-  guilty  As  he  broods  he  imagines  over what  for  42  could of  only  be f i c t i t i o u s  a meeting  between  scenes.  the social  The f i r s t worker  ated  by c o m p l a i n t s  of the father's  uses  him o f b i t i n g  her because  ing  that  h i s beloved  sculpture  scene  takes  t h e form  and t h e f a m i l y ,  abuse.  One  she committed reminded  instig-  little  girl  'heresy'  by  her of Cretan  accsay-  sculpture.  -Oui, c'est vrai...quelque f o i s j e perds l a tete, j e d i s n'importe quoi, juste pour dire.quelque chose...Alors i l s ' e s t j e t e s u r m o i , i l a aboye...La q u o i ? en p r e n a n t un h o r r i b l e a c c e n t . . . l a haine q u i t o r d a i t l a bouche...La q u o i ? . . . i l m'a m o r d u e . . . ( p . 1 0 5 ) The  next  father's  imaginary  scene  i s a court  friend testifies  and  n o t a r e 'mean n a t u r e s ' ,  just, t o t e a c h father The arily  speak  father's comforts  badly  artist,  that  without  worrying  feels  on t h e  natures'.  the children  he w i s h e s  would  be  he h a d s a i d a r e ,  f o r he i s t i r e d  'Vivre  and v i c e  himself  the reactions  l a v i e e t l a mort  the joyful  the constrictures  versa.  of  hearing  sensation  of  vivre  tempor-  1  he s h o u l d  He d i s c o v e r s , 'dead'  f o r someepeople  he immerses  about  et laisser  o f a r t c a n be b o t h  and  toler-  as does . 'alive',  and ' a l i v e ' f o r  i n aesthetic  pleasure  of h i s children. Like the  who,  face  equated  mourants ' ( p 1 0 7 ) ) so t h e a r t - l o v e r capes  'mean  f o r he r e a l i z e s t h a t  i s 'dead'  F o r a moment,  tion,  motto  values  others.  as  based  of his children.  a work  his statuette  that  although  the father,  the  i n Entre  he s a i d  a lesson,  friend's  his children's  writer  that  the father  ate  that  trial,  friend referring to the children  The  the  room  to face  with  experiences  with  'l'euphorie  creades  a j o y which e s -  time.  I I e s t u n i n s t a n t i m m o b i l e , s a n s l i m i t e s . Un i n s t a n t f i x e , p o u r l ' e t e r n i t e . Un s e u l i n s t a n t i n f i n i , infinimnent paisible...(p.130)  Although la  vie et  both  novels  l a mort  creation,  the  deal  comes  central  with  closer  the  to  conscience  creative  espousing being  the  process,  the  actual  creative  Entre act  of  artist  him-  self. Although the  artist  ipate  at  and  i n the  fulfill the  mystery the  the  have  response  the  art,  casting  selves  creative  the  form.  work  artist  is  must  artist  the  art-lover  act  of  The by  f o r what  that they  . . . c r e e r , d o n n e r v i e une s e c o n d e f o i s . l a m o r t , au d e p e r i s s e m e n t . . . ( p . 2 1 ) So,  both  erable and  the  duality  the  other  Following ative half radio  artist  process of  this  of  and  the  the  to  pattern of  and  then  chapter  p l a y s , where  the  will  the  moment  the  they have  the  work  of  immerse done  when  is  them to  Pour#arracher;*a  participate  aesthetic experience,  responding the  art-lover  whose  o f t e n by  the  on  then  process i s ,  i s determined  concentrate  sen-  indeed  art-lover,  at  probes  those  half  creative  to  sensations  If i t is  I t i s only  partic-  other  artist's  the  both  l a mort  critical  influences,  creation,  each et  'alive.'  again.  people.  off a l l outside  i n the  or  creativity  other  and  artist's  'dead'  on  manifestation of  complicated  artist's  the  art-lover, creativity  la vie  from  the  the  depend  Entre  The  start  further  the  to  on  artist's  They  act,  creation,  tastes of  both  of  process.  concrete  said, to  aesthetic  of  i f the  the  recipient  focuses  respective roles.  of  in a  'dead,' I  the  instant  determines  l e s Entendez?  creative  their  sations  as  Vous  the  i n the  one  insep-  creating  creation. Chapter process  deal  medium  with  I, of  which  discussed  communication,  communication.  f o r communication  is  In  the  the  cresecond  Sarraute'  limited  to  44  dialogue, racters.  the listener However,  Entendez?  various reader So,  paradoxically,  no  ion.  interaction  Communication,  novels ious  must  l a v i e e t l a mort  indicates  whether  of the writer's  recognizable. career  to  watch  of sub-  o r hear the  dialogue.  can explain  on t h e l e v e l  between  by a k i n d  of  of osmosis  The at a  time.  more, i t s  because  characters  Entre  there  can  subconversati n these among  portray  represent  the reader  two  the var-  Sarraute  b y Germain'e B r e e writer,  one o r s e v e r a l  that  Nothing  at the  begin-  participates only  personality traits  l a v i e e t l a mort  a specific  of a writer.  i s o n e a n d t h e same  consciousness,  and n o t h i s c a r e e r .  conducted  i s the story  the writer  as a t t h e end. Because  level  1972  people  itself  and Vous l e s  consciousnesses.  Entre  ning  their  o f communication  therefore,  manifest  the cha-  o f one c h a r a c t e r  the novel  a study  between  cannot  through  t h e mind  although  restricts  l a v i e e t l a mort  or spectator  inside  among  e x c l u s i v e l y on t h e l e v e l  interacting  i s constantly  the interaction  Entre  almost  the reader  characters  structure be  because  are written  conversation,  can hear  traces  states  the steps  on t h e are un-  of a  i n an i n t e r v i e w i n  because  she d i d n o t i n t e n d  the central consciousness  could  writers.  ...I t h o u g h t i t w o u l d be i n t e r e s t i n g t o c o n c e n t r a t e on the w r i t e r as such, n o t on a w r i t e r . I d i d n o t p o r t r a y an i n d i v i d u a l w r i t e r a n d a n y o n e c a n s e e t h a t t h e a t t i t u d e s I d e s c r i b e d c o u l d h a r d l y b e l o n g t o t h e same p e r s o n ... 2 At a  the beginning puppet  page  who  of the novel,  mecanically  and t h r o w i n g  t h e mature  performs  i t away.  the task  writer  i s depicted  of tearing out the  as  45  II etend (p.7) As  a young  l e bras,  writer,  i l l e r e p l i e . . . " J ' a r r a c h e l a page."  he i s a s c a r e d  child  who  fears  others.  "Et vous, au f a i t . . . V o u s savez, j ' a i l u v o t r e livre..." I I l e v e l a m a i n comme p o u r s e p r o t e g e r . . . i l s'ecarte comme p o u r n e p a s e t r e e b l a b o u s s e . . . " Oh n o n , j e v o u s en p r i e . . . " i l s e s e n t a i t s i b i e n , h o r s de l e u r p o r t e e , o u b l i e de t o u s e t de lui-meme...Qu'on l e l a i s s e t r a n q u i l l e , c ' e s t t o u t c e q u ' i l demande...(p.136) Later  on i n h i s c a r e e r ,  sense  of proportion.  fame  and success  He s e e s  himself  h a v e made  him lose a l l  a s 'Un p r o p h e t e . U n  sphinx.'  Debout l e s morts. ou n'importe q u o i . Tout c e q u i v i e n t de m o i s o u s t o u t e s s e s f o r m e s , t o u t e s t a p r e n d r e . Q u i se d e t o u r n e ? Q u i r e f u s e ? C ' e s t a p r e n d r e ou a l a i s s e r . E t q u i o s e r a i t l a i s s e r ? Q u i i c i a u r a i t l e c o u r a g e de courir l e risque? , Personne. I l s sont mates. Dresses.(p.208) However,  ironically,  fame  and success  have  dried  up a l l  his  inspiration. . . . i l a e t e amene p e t i t a p e t i t , e n t r a i n e a s o n i n s u . . . i l s ' e s t p e r m i s de p r e n d r e , i l ne s e n e s t p a s r e n d u compte, t o u j o u r s p l u s de l i b e r t e s , i l a o s e f o r c e r , a s s e r v i r c e d o n t a u t r e f o i s i l ne s ' a p p r o c h a i t qu'avec t a n t de p r e c a u t i o n s , t a n t de r e s p e c t . . . (p.224) 1  The a  vision  circular  ity  It  Although  reappearing  a t the end gives  and m e t a p h o r i c a l l y  i n other  words,  one a r t i s t  artists  suggests  artist  begins  c e l u i - c i p o u r commencer, c e f r a g m e n t m i n u s c u l e . . . q u i d o i t r e s t e r de 1'image, m o r c e l e e . . . c e b r a s e l u i d'un p a n t i n a r t i c t c l e , q u i s ' e t e n d , se s'abaisse...(p.177)  o r whether artist.  the novel  i ttraces  b e t h e same  large  Prendre tout ce comme, c replie,  whether  could  to a  Yet, i n the novel,  i s ambiguous  they  the continu-  are similar  ' d r i e s up', another  the novel  create.  ters one  structure,  of the art;  degree. to  o f the puppet  presents  the various  many  phases  artist.  different  wri-  i n the career of  46  A It  s i m i l a r ambiguity  i s probable,  the  father's  guest  el  mind  assumes  i s written  refers  to  and what  the  that  everything  that  appear  projections  i n the f i r s t  takes  t o be t h e t h o u g h t s  he i s i n t h e m i n d  mostly  l e s Entendez?.  of the  o f h i s own. T h e  of the father  person  place i n  singular.  as t h e novThe  father  himself  the father  reader  ther  i n Vous  are simply  Je n ' em-ai;pas, vous 1'ame...(p.22) However,  occurs  but not certain,  or the children  reader  of optic  i s now  imagines  me  l'accordez,  i s sometimes  i n t h e mind  what  d e temperament. Pas  referred  t o as  ' i l ' .  o f one o f h i s c h i l d r e n  his children  are thinking  Either or the  f a -  about him.  M a i s c ' e s t v r a i , i^L n ' e n e s t p a s u n . N o n , c e n ' e s t p a s s a p l a c e , p a s du t o u t . . . (p.22) It  i s , therefore,  different inside one  whose  f o r the reader  are represented  consciousness  i n Entre  he i s i n Vous  to tell  how  many  l a v i e e t l a mort o r  l e s Entendez?  a t any  time. The  ity  writers  impossible  ambiguity  of optic  of the characters.  basically  a l l alike-  universal.  Ithe  'etres-createurs'  writer  could  Sarraute  reactions  are  'becomes b l u r r e d  The r e a d e r  that  on t h e l e v e l hope  interchangeable human b e i n g s a r e  of  subconversation  t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between  l a v i e e t l a mort  of kaleidoscope  another  by t h e  maintains  cannot  i n Entre  i n a sort  become  i s reinforced  a t any given  as each  conflict  writer  i n which  each  moment.  P a r e i l . Meme s u b s t a n c e . J a m a i s a u c u n e s e p a r a t i o n . Ou a l o r s l e s c l o i s o n s communes a t r a v e r s l e s q u e l l e s s e p r o d u i t comme u n e o s m o s e c o n s t a n t e . . . ( p . 8 0 ) To  carry  the idea  o f i n t e r c h a n g e a b i l i t y one s t e p  further,  Sarr-  47  aute p r e s e n t s , same f a m i l y  i n Vous l e s  o r who a r e  tinual  osmosis,  pistic  reactions.  and wonder  Entendez?,  so c l o s e t h a t  thereby  people they  communicate  becoming r e c e p t i v e  The c h i l d r e n  feel  how he c o u l d have h e a r d  b e l o n g i n g to by a  con-  each o t h e r ' s  tro-  h i s p r e s e n c e e v e n from  afar  them  to  the  laughing.  Comment a - t - i l e n t e n d u ? On r i a i t s i d q u c e m e n t . . . M a i s i l e s t t o u j o u r s l a a s u r v e i l l e r chaque g e s t e , a r e primer l e moindre e l a n , l e p l u s l e g e r s i g n e d ' i n s o u c i a n c e , de l i b e r t e , t o u j o u r s a s c r u t e r , a d o s e r , a juger...(p.17) Because the  point  of  i m a g i n i n g what h i s ceptive  to  his  view  is  children  children  ambiguous, are  as t h e y  the  wondering. are  to  father  is  The f a t h e r  possibly is  as re-i-  him.  ...II n ' y a p a s en l u i un f r e m i s s e m e n t s i i n f i m e s o i t i l q u ' i l s ne p e r g o i v e n t a u s s i t o t , i n s t r u i t s , e x e r c e s p a r l u i comme i l s l e s o n t , p o s s e d a n t , o f f e r t e s p a r l u i , toutes les cartes les plus d e t a i l l e e s . . . ( p . 1 8 ) So c l o s e a r e feels  the  father  and h i s  c a n be a t t r i b u t e d t o  actually  becomes t h e  children  anyone o f  children  the  t h a t what one o f others.  and' v i c e v e r s a .  The  He  them  father  is  Comme l ' e n f a n t q u i e s t v e n u p r e s de s a mere r e c e v o i r un b a i s e r , p u i s r e t o u r n e , r a s s u r e , j o u e r avec ses camarades, i l va redescendre...(p.160) Does t h e like  father  one? He t u r n s  On:, marche (p.165) He even that  feel  sur  looks  they  give  like  into  a child in  la pointe  so f o r l o r n  a c h i l d o r do t h e their  des p i e d s ,  to  tout  join  in  frequent  him  petit... their  games  toy.  M a i s ne p r e n d s pas c e t a i r d e s e s p e r e , t i e n s , on t e r e n d , on t e r e n d t o n h o c h e t , t u v o i s . . . ( p . 1 7 6 ) These  treat  presence.  on se f a i t  when he a t t e m p t s  him b a c k h i s  children  transpositions  show t h e  la  close interaction  between  48  consciousnesses and  how As  by  the  et  I  difficult l a mort,  consciousness  their his  having  the  artist  awareness  to  or  of  process  reality  understand.  i s perhaps the  views  'roles,  of  critics  a  his  limited  which In  i s , of  Entre  different  or  is  la  level  of  family.  . . . i l s s a v e n t ce q u i l e s a p r o v o q u e s sans r i e n se d i r e ou p e u t - e t r e y a - t - i l e n t r e eux un l a n g a g e q u ' e u x s e u l s p e r c o i v e n t , d e s s i g n e s e n t r e eux, q u ' i l ne c o n n a i t p a s . . . (p.46) As a  well,  his  creative  sensitivity  artist  and  to  sets  words him  foreshadows  his potential  as  apart.  I I e s t d'une m a t i e r e p l u s p o r e u s e , absorbante...Chaque g o u t t e l e t t e s e c r e t e e p a r eux, un s i m p l e mot s a n s i m p o r t a n c e , un a c c e n t , n ' i m p o r t e q u o i , p e n e t r e en l u i , p r o v o q u e des t r o u b l e s , l u i f a i t p e r d r e l e sens des proportions...(p.80) The  w r i t e r and  The  critics,  Balzac,  feel  the  critic  used  to  that  they  perceive  reality  writers trying cannot  fail  to as  very  copy long  differently.  Baudelaire as  they  or  stick  to  generalities. I I n'y a r i e n a c r a i n d r e . L e s c h a n c e s de s e t r o m p e r s o n t i n s i g n i f i a n t e s . N u l l e s , pour tout d i r e . II s u f f i t d'app l i q u e r a s o n c a s l e c a l c u l de p r o b a b i l i t e s - s i e f f i c a c e : C o m b i e n y a - t - i l , j e v o u s l e demande, de F l a u b e r t s s u r m i l l e h a b i t a n t s ? C o m b i e n , s u r c e n t m i l l e , de B a u d e l a i r e s ? . . . ( p . 8 3 ) . . . . On s a i t b i e n q u ' o n t r o u v e p a r t o u t c e q u ' o n y a p p o r t e , e t que t o u t e s t d a n s t o u t . . . o n p e u t m o n t r e r n ' i m p o r t e ou n ' i m p o r t e q u o i . . . ( p . 1 4 4 ) The  critics,  not  communicate  with  the  eager  the  stamp  directly  writer.  understand  to  Because  artist's  labels  with the work,  the  on work  critic the  1  communicate.  view  else  than  ages,  communication  h i s own  f o r anyone  the  different  children  discussed,  individual  course, vie  f a t h e r and  Chapter  each  despite  the of  makes  artist  artist's a r t , nor, little and  the  work,  do  indirectly  attemptttoa critic  can-  49  not  understand  derstand  each  other.  the artist's  However,  the c r i t i c  pretends  t o un-  creativity.  "Eh b i e n o u i . J ' a i a i m e v o t r e l i v r e . B e a u c o u p . " I I s e penche, i l s s e t e n d , i l s ' o u v r e p o u r a b s o r b e r l e s mots q u i s u i v r o n t . . . d e s mots sans l i e n v i s i b l e e n t r e eux... i l s tombent durs e t d r u s , i l s tambourinent c o n t r e l u i s a n s p e n e t r e r . De t e m p s a a u t r e i l p a r v i e n t a e n a t t r a p e r q u e l q u e s - u n s au p a s s a g e : S y m b o l i s m e . S u r r e a l i s m e . I m p r e s s i o n i s m e . G r o s p l a n s ... ( p . 1 4 0 ) He  even  tioning  tries  t o d i s c e r n i n f l u e n c e where  a railway  station  which  none  exist,  by  men-  i s non-existent.  I I c h e r c h e , i l p a r c o u r t en h a t e l e c h e m i n . . . M a i n t e n a n t i l refait l e trajet tres vite, i l l e survole, i l scrute... r i e n . . . n u l l e p a r t . . . p a s t r a c e d'une g a r e . . . r i e n q u i l u i ressemble...(p.142) While  this  tiousness duals each  incident  of critics,  cannot person  Mutual between  hope  each  between  chasm  wide  between  differing  guest  feel  through  as they  views that  of  a dead  nates  however,  past  holding  the values  ...revues  feel  that  i n Vous  of reality  taste.'  cult  and  l e s Entendez? i s  differently.  that  We  see  through  The f a t h e r and has been  never  be  passed  touched.  l'emporter, l a mettre D e r r i e r e une v i t r i n e .  t h e power  the present  bandes  indivi-  reality.  and so s h o u l d  of the present  d e mode,  and communicate, f o r  'good  a r t i s a sacred  the generations  children,  other  perceptions  o f a r t and  two  t h e f a t h e r and h i s guest  V i t e . . . l a prendre, 1'envelopper, a 1'abri. Bien gardee. Protegee. Aux p a r o i s i n c a s s a b l e s . ( p . 4 0 ) The  i s that  a l l see r e a l i t y  their  preten-  theme  perspective of  t h e f a t h e r and h i s c h i l d r e n  the  down  to understand  understanding  as w e l l ,  his  the rather mindless  the underlying  has a unique  limited,  their  demonstrates  of the statue  i n shackles.  Their  i s that  a r t incar-  generation.  dessinees...fermer  l e s postes  50  de r a d i o , de t e l e v i s i o n , l e s a f f i c h e s . . . (p.95) The f a t h e r his  point  arracher  s a d l y acknowledges of  that  les  his  panneaux-reclames,  children  do n o t  share  view..  Vous avez beau v o u s y p r e n d r e t o t , quand i l s p a r a i s s e n t e n c o r e m a l l e a b l e s , i m p r e g n a b l e s , e t l e s mener l a , l e s f o r c e r a r e g a r d e r . . . I n u t i l e de r i e n f o r c e r . . . ( p . 4 0 ) Furthermore, itional of ter  the  aesthetic children's  merely  father guest  even the  tells  laughter.  the  guest,  differ  The g u e s t  from t h e  that  him  and t h e  appreciation,  emanates  believes  father  in  their  believes  children's  children  who s h a r e  are  the  interpretation that  the  laughs  innocence while  laughing  trad-  at  him.  the His  that:  Ces r i r e s s o n t ce que v o u s en f a i t e s . I l s s e r o n t ce que v o u s v o u d r e z . J e v o u s a s s u r e , j e ne v o u s comprends p a s . . . (p.167) Not o n l y do t h e of  father  view which cannot  alizes  that,  to  point  dit  attitude  the  iority break  of  his  of  his  aesthetic  itself, In  values.  father's  would w i s h ,  hold very  understood,  words, in  the  order  adoringly  he s u r m i s e s  the  to prove  if  the  they  them what he wants  steeped  but  When t h e y in  his to  don't  religious  the  super-  children  must  assert  children's see and crowd  devotion  that;  I l s se s o n t l e v e s , i l s o n t p r i s etaient si fatigues...(p.15)  conge p o l i m e n t ,  re-',  discree.  the  want t o  points  father  f a t h e r must  Similarly,  tyranny  reality.  different  an a t t i t u d e must condemn  The f a t h e r makes e x c u s e s f o r  be c l o s e t o  statuette  other  children  b e c a u s e he s e e s i n  what m i g h t the  view.  away f r o m t h e  theirefreedom. havior  of  guest  be m u t u a l l y  justify  other's  and h i s  ils  be-  not  around as he  51  The  children  selves  like  escape  from  his  tyranny  1  by  1  retracting into  snails.  frisscw-  Les t e n d r e s c h a i r s v i s q u e u s e s e t m o l l e s , toutes n a n t e s se s o n t r e t r a c t e e s , i l s se s o n t e n f e r m e s , s i b l e de l e s atteindre...(p.42) No  compromise  each  seeks  them-  or  his  mutual  understanding  identity in  a  can  continual  ever  be  impos-  attained,  confrontation  with  as the  other. The fact  problems  that  each  of  communication  person's  changes.  The  critics  image  the  writer  of  groupies so  that  swarm the  around  mere  act  perception  in to  are  Entre match  their of  his  further  of  la vie their  compounded  reality et  fluctuates  l a mort  literary  drinking  tea  the and  transform  expectations.  latest  by  The  idol,  becomes  the  literary  exalting a  sacred  him rit-  ual .  "...II f a l l a i t l e v o i r . . . i l a v a i t l ' a i r d ' o f f i c i e r quand i l v e r s a i t d a n s l a t h e i e r e l ' e a u d ' u n e s o r t e de r e c i p i e n t . . . (p.193) Naturally,  this  impossible. asserting he  The  shifting father  of  perspective  i n Vous  les  Entendez?  and  a  his  aesthetic  values  deems m o s t  precious.  He  children's  laughter.  is  and  natural  makes  He  desire  reexamines  pretends  at  and  first  a is  to  laughter  time  he  between  communicate  that  their  what  the  laughter  harmless.  is  as  gentle  ...eaux v i v e s , s o u r c e s , fleuries...(p.27) Each  torn  reality  reinterprets  Des r i r e s i n s o u c i a n t s . Des rires argentins. G o u t t e l e t t e s . J e t s d'eau. Cascades l e g e r e s . d'oiselets...(p.7) Their  fixed  repeats  the  Clochettes. Gazouillis  as ruisselets a  incident  in  his  travers  mind,  les  his  prairies  mood  changes  52  As h i s  suspicions  fester,  the  more s i n i s t e r  the  laughter  becomes.  Ces r i r e s comme des g o u t t e s d ' e a u q u ' o n f a i t tomber s u r l e c r a n e des s u p p l i c i e s . . . c ' e s t s u r n o u s , c ' e s t p o u r nous f a i r e s o u f f r i r , c ' e s t p o u r nous d e t r u i r e . . . ( p . 1 0 0 ) Finally,  their  a morass o f  laughter  c o n q u e r s him and he ends up s i n k i n g  into  tropisms.  . . . c e t i n d i v i d u c a m o u f l e sous 1 ' a p p a r e n c e du b r a v e p e r e de f a m i 1 l e . . . r e u s s i s a i t a f a b r i q u e r a p a r t i r de c e s r i r e s des m i a s m e s , des gaz a s p h y x i a n t s , des m i c r o b e s m o r t e l s , un f l e u v e de p o u r r i t u r e , une mer de boue q u i se s e r a i t repandue s u r t o u t e l a t e r r e . . . ( p . 1 9 4 ) These v a r y i n g t h e mind i s  in constant  with another In  la vie  et  in  harden the  of  indicate  that  w h i c h changecmakes c o m m u n i c a t i o n  has c o n t i n u e d t h e  artist,  Creativity the  is  is  d i s c u s s i o n of  Entendez?, for  w i t h the  i n words what he f e e l s  artist  the  towards  the  very  is  of  tend  locked  the  prota-  existence  cannot express  work  act  his  cannot adequately  the  the  Entre  may k i l l  art-lover,  artist  art-lover  of  i n w o r d s . Words  he c o n f i r m s  J u s t as t h e  so t h e  in  s e n s a t i o n . The a r t i s t  relationship  words h i s . c r e a t i v i t y ,  as t h e  expressing i t  initial  creativity.  participating  fragile  process of  artist's  Vous l e s  author's  cribe  laughter  impossible.  chapter  the  an i n s e p a r a b l e  gonist the  l a mort,  creation.  into  the  p r o c e s s and c o m m u n i c a t i o n . The main c h a r a c t e r  creativity to  this  of  flux,  individual  summary,  creative  of  interpretations  of in  des-  art.  Ce q u i s o r t de l a , ce q u i emane, i r r a d i e , c o u l e , l e s p e n e t r e , s ' i n f i l t r e en eux p a r t o u t , ce q u i l e s e m p l i t , l e s g o n f l e , l e s s o u l e v e . . . f a i t a u t o u r d ' e u x une s o r t e de v i d e ou i l s f l o t t e n t , ou i l s se l a i s s e n t p o r t e r . . . aucun mot ne p e u t l e s d e c r i r e . . . M a i s i l s n ' o n t pas b e s o i n de m o t s , i l s n ' e n v e u l e n t p a s , i l s s a v e n t q u i l f a u t s u r t o u t ne l a i s s e r aucun mot s ' e n a p p r o c h e r . . . (p.10) 1  Words,  then,  do n o t p r o v i d e  an a d e q u a t e  medium o f  expression  53  f o r the a r t i s t o r the a r t - l o v e r , f o r they cannot feelings  t o o t h e r s . The a c t i o n ,  m o r t a n d o f Vous l e s E n t e n d e z ? to v e r b a l i z e of  themselves.  then, of Entre l a v i e e t l a c e n t r e s around  tropisms  trying  The c h a r a c t e r s o p e r a t e on t h e l e v e l  s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n , and a l t h o u g h t h e y communicate by a s o r t o f  osmosis,  any v e r b a l  i n t e r a c t i o n among t h e c h a r a c t e r s w i l l  t o t a k e p l a c e a f t e r t h e n o v e l has been w r i t t e n . characters w i l l do  convey t h e i r  never  f u l l y understand  have  However, t h e  each o t h e r even i f t h e y  speak t o each o t h e r a t a l a t e r d a t e . I n t h e f i r s t p l a c e ,  each person's because people the w r i t t e n  view o f r e a l i t y  i s unique  and r e l a t i o n s h i p s  are i n constant f l u x .  Secondly,  o r s p o k e n w o r d i s an i n a d e q u a t e medium f o r e x p r e s -  s i n g deep t h o u g h t s . T h e r e f o r e , m u t u a l ication  but n o t immutable  among p e o p l e  i s limited.  u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d commun-  Footnotes  G r e t c h e n R. B e s s e r , N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e ( B o s t o n : Twayne Publishers, 1 9 7 9 ) , p.99. x  2  Germaine Bree, " N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e . I n t e r v i e w s w i t h two F r e n c h N o v e l i s t s . " f P e r s o n a l I n t e r v i e w w i t h N a t h a l i e Sarraute, January 1972J C o n t e m p o r a r y L i t e r a t u r e , X I V , .2 (Winter  1973),  p.143.  CHAPTER I I I :  CREATIVITY AND IN  The  third  creativity  and  C'est  beau,  1  11  and  they of  produced  the  f o r the  their  the  art-lover, and  the  the  father  creative  like the  the  the  H_£ i n E l l e  est  being  criticized.  self,  thereby  creator  needs  None  the  ential ing In  this  other  by  and  Elle  silence,  's  friends  just  half of  of  as  to  the  creation.  beau and  afraid  in Elle any  express  to est  light,  the  and  degree  mother voice  Pierre  est  la also  ever  other's  possibly  creative  and  opinie  must  expr-  process  11,  her  Mensonin Un-  none any as  of crea-  well  for fear idea  to  original  her-  stimulate thought  by  a  style.  creative  processes  as of  Futhermore,  any  communication  is  creation.  beau  potential.  mental  characters  i n Le  ideas  keeps  develop  crea-  prerequ-  their  l a have  i n C'est their  child  participate  1 and  of  as  show  the  creative  artist's  Elle  The  artist  h i s p e r c e p t i o n i n an  each  cannot  and  creative  protagonists could  which  plays  another  voice  both  c o n f i r m i n g the  father  stifle  act  Isma  and  an  Chapters  the  some  of  to  l e s Entendez?  C'est  stifling  f o r they  cliches  F  the  to  c r e a t o r s f o r they  imaginings,  l a are  and  of  plays,  l a , i n 1978.  process  Lui  process.  i n Vous  The  discussion  latest  creativity  characters discussed i n Chapters  potential.  of  and  recipient  protagonists of  tive  of  est  two  characters of  sensitive  The  process  Elle  the  LA  conditions for creativity.  being  creativity.  ELLE EST  continue  creative  a l l potential  his  and  A l l the  l a mort  subjective  will  components  creative  ess  ge  by  AND  i s Sarraute's  1973  i n the  l a vie et  Isma iare  ons,  in  necessary  potential  isite in  communication  participate  Entre  chapter  respectively.  meet  tive  final  d i s c u s s e d the  creation, novels  and  C'EST BEAU  55  COMMUNICATION  potspout-  processes.  processes  are  56  intertwined. songe  In Sarraute's  and Isma  and i n t h e n o v e l s ,  Vous  l e s Entendez?,  Each  individual's  sible the  t o know  spoken  pression  another  l e s Entendez?  ual's  values  which  stifles  people  creative  chapter  explanation  of  the creative  son.  beau  i s being  incarnated  plays,  as they  each  f o r the ex-  Nevertheless, do  and  other  by a s o r t  beau'and  situation  l a ,  Further-  the  i t keeps  individthe  processes.  their  followed  lines  tool,  e s t l a do n o t p a r t i c i p a t e  do n o t c o m m u n i c a t e  The i n the  'creation.' I and I I :  by an  analysis  processes.  a family nucleus  represent  est  i s a repressive  and communication  of os-  e s t l a t r y t o im-  annihilating although  Elle  cliches.  i n Elle  thus  and communication  the  communicate  f o l l o w t h e same p a t t e r n ( a s C h a p t e r s  introduces  i t impos-  Furthermore,  medium  meaningless  t h e mores  r e p l a c e d by t h e v a l u e s  a p p r e c i a t i o n o f museums  of father,  mother and  of a disintegrating of the present  i n t h e s o n . The f a t h e r would  aesthetic  makes  and the p r o t a g o n i s t s o f  t o some d e g r e e ,  and E l l e  understanding.  self.  and Isma  C'est  Language,  of the dramatic  The p a r e n t s  which  his  beau  will  an  C'est  open  process  with  on t h e o t h e r ,  the creative  i n C'est  degree  beau  capacity to reason.  communication  one's  and thoughts.  i n overused,  the father i n C'est their  This  later  mutual  of reality  Le Mensonge  L e Men-  l a v i e e t l a mort and  restrict  o r even  communicate  speak  Entre  Le S i l e n c e ,  i s an i n e f f i c i e n t  to a certain  But, i n these  characters  pose  of  other  plays,  vision  feelings  o f Le S i l e n c e ,  Vous  more,  person  o r w r i t t e n word  each  the  factors  fluctuating  with  mosis.  many  of authentic  characters  earlier  like  generation,  h i s son to  and l i b r a i r i e s ,  society  share  but the  57  son r e j e c t s  these o u t - o f - d a t e  values  and c o m i c b o o k s . The d r a m a t i c 'c'est of  beau,'  which the  a painting,  judgment  that  govern the the  are  any f o r m o f  generation.  imposing t h e i r  establishing his principles ment,  which i s  'c'est  beau'  tude  that  sert  his  father  meaningless, not  positive  is  even pronounce  stifling  referring  as t h e  to  play  phrase  them,  the  as  the  that  The son r e f e r s establishes  faculties  of  end o f  again to  his parental  pre-  judg-  an  words  atti-  in  'she'  play,  their  son i s  daring his that his  and s e n d s him t o  the  as  'she'  his  not  the  parents  the  his  split  finally  and t h e  supremacy by s h o u t i n g  "Qui  son  son  for  room. in  the on  calls  same c o n v e r s a t i o n s t a r t s  h i s mother  of  husband's attacks  the mother  his  his presence.  attacks  to b r i d g e  assert  parents  s o n . They do  Frustrated  a rage,  his  become a f r a i d  anymore i n  attempts  the  of  towards  He r e s e n t s  The p a r e n t s  opens, the  son f r o m h i s bedroom and t h e  (p.62)  h i s mother.  i s widening because of  s o n . At the  'beau,'  As he grows up and b e g i n s t o  'c'est beau.'  h i s mother  that  The son c o n s i d e r s t h e  alienating  father,  a value  son, thereby  and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  ' c ' e s t beau'  The m o t h e r makes s e v e r a l family  for  c o n v i c t i o n s and o f  to pronounce the  something  v a l u e s on t h e i r his  is  principles  he becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y h o s t i l e  old-fashioned ideas.  Ironically,  the  By l a b e l l i n g  trite  appreciation  ' C ' e s t beau'  but  and s t i f l i n g  longer v a l i d .  identity,  art  television  r e v o l v e s around a c l i c h e ,  art.  creativity.  and has no r e s p e c t  and t h e i r  dare  is  a kind of  new ones -  u s e as a b l a n k e t  encompasses not o n l y  parents'  parents  conflict  parents  music or  for  the  again.  father  re-  "elle"?"  58  Elle ly  est  imposed  nation  of  an  'idea'  who  holds  l a continues criteria.  theme  idea  may  its ly  is  of  others  combat  cliche  suggesting 'c'est  beau'  est  between sation  H_^_  talking rather esses  idea  only  the  he  labels a  H_g_.  F,  H^'s  —  — z  in  But  the H_^  of  by  the  'He'  idea  Disent  get  attacking  himself  to  flow  of  the  but  formula  a c t u a l T  is  of  F  did  not  using  F  to  a  Sarraute  impedes  is or  the  mind.  or  with  of  a  business  about  discussion  aiprevious  colleague, something  actually voice  disapprovingly.  wants  to  person-  ' f o o l s say'  that  on  proponents  So,  like  An  also  he  a n a l y s i s . By  words  1976.  the  but  level  ideas.  in  revenge  the  les  freely.  stupid,  to  way  person  was  with  conver-  them. *  about.  destroy  on  way  is thinking  disagreed  He  only  middle  secretary  theme  the  the  ' f o o l s say',  label  constraining  F  H~.  only  a l l rational  the  with  flow  i . e . simple  that  gestured  l a dramatizes  and  The  own  condem-  liberated  But,  his  the  published  depends  lowers  p o t e n t i a l of  and  est  on  was  others  abandons stops  —zf  can  not  fools'.  be  focuses  external-  which  something  stupid.  l a opens  when  remembers  he  can  free-flowing Elle  as  ideas, he  must  against  stifled., together  be  'little  that  or  Elle  ideas  himself  himself  values,  beau  novels  label  where  C'est  l a r e c a p i t u l a t e s the  Because  the  rebellion  Sarraute's  labelled this  of  est  that  considers  instead  and  condemned  of  proponent.  call  al  one  be  meaning  be  i t . Elle  Imbeciles, Its  Whereas  principles can  Sarraute's  This  surrender  that  her  idea  and  H_g_  disagreement  upsets,  her  H_^_  bothers  to  him  so  and that  H_ — z r  were but obshe  —  i t , as  contrary  to  he  his  cannot own.  t o l e r a t e anyone  Furthermore,  that  else F  did  having not  an  voice  59  her  own  idea,  cannot by  combat  another.  could  but  In  seize  est  la" -  or  anyone  an  merely unspoken  other  i t and  F's  idea  else.  gestured,  H_  idea.  words,  really  One  i f F  idea  would  upsets can  only  voice  her  for  be  idea,  H,,  i t with  remains  inside  her  mind,  force  her  idea  out  in  neutralize  her.  The  structure  H^  into  his  office  to  idea.  he  disarmed  destroy  tries  another  H^,  However,"Elle  inaccessible the  to  open  H„ by  —2T attempting  to  circular  as  tries  to  talk  walks  in  and  time,  H_j_ a n d  reaction her  but  idea the  his  essity and ed  he  will  One  i n C'est  H_^  same  he  her  and  even  to  let F  prerequisites  on  the  part  when  of  must  the  be  criticized.  he  extreme. i f she  keep  of  him.  again. time  He  and  F  third F,  his  plots  to  kill  head.  idea  he  sees  longer  i n her  where Later,  The  H^  even  i s no  her  the  artist  willing The  convictions  was  Each  to  is  there, At  he  the  the end  of  resolves  to  also.  the  his  idea  starts  implanted  of  He  her  office.  more  there,  himself  F  surrendering  into  decides  calls  conversation  more  be  differently.  that  beau.  into  go  s t i l l  to  and/or  ely  the  her,  realizes that  openly.  voicing  her  becomes  play,  keep  possess  to  to  father  in  So,  the  his  son's  age,  take  of  the  his  too,  his risk  beau  son,  justifies he,  process  express  i n C'est  front  father  creative  the  ideas of is  who  himself was  is  freely  being afraid  thinks by  'behind  nec-  admirof entir-  admitting the  times.'  Moi a c e t a g e - l a , j ' e t a i s i d i o t . . . U n peu arriere... T o u j o u r s dans l e s l i v r e s . . . D a n s l e s musees...Mais l u i , oh o u i , p o u r c a o u i , l u i , c e s c h o s e s - l a , ga l'ennuie... i l n'aime pas ga... l u i c ' e s t l e s bandes dessinees... la tele...(p.52) The  father's  i n s e c u r i t y about  his  own  ideas  resembles  that  of  60  H_2  in  Elle  point  of  est  needs  the  assurance  that  supports  cannot  a l'heure, a p p e l e r ga  q u a n d nous d i s c u t i o n s . . . e n f i n , on ne d i s c u t e r , n o u s e t i o n s du meme a v i s . . .  t o l e r a t e F's  differing  views.  H_  —±  asks  H,  ±  27 Vous n'avez n ' e t a i t pas  And,  at  the  tential, out  of  his  view.  E^' Tout p e u t pas (p.14) Hi  l a , who  p a s r e m a r q u e ? V o u s ne l ' a v e z p a s s e n t i ? E l l e de n o t r e a v i s . M a i s p a s du tout...(p.14)  end  for  of  he  the  play,  decides  to  H^  keep  proves his  to  idea  have for  no  creative  himself,  po-  pure  and  reach.  C ' e s t a mon i d e e a moi, a e l l e s e u l e , que je pense...Je ne v e u x p a s q u ' e l l e s ' a v i l i s s e . . . p l u s de c o n t a c t s ... P l u s b e s o i n de s o u t i e n de p e r s o n n e . . . N o u s n ' a v o n s b e s o i n que de g a ; e t r e s e u l s , t o u t - s e u l s , mon idee a moi...(p.36) F  in  not  Elle  est  l a , as  expressing  her  Vous avez v o t r e droit? (p.17) So,  we  in  the  see  that  ideas. idee.  the  creative  well,  destroys She  Moi  father,  process  by  and  does  a  original  discussions people ideas  in  creator  C'est  beau  i.e. their  rational,  mental  example  of  the  thereby  reduce  and  and  F  stifling bien,  the  creativity, processes.  est  The  How  his  phrase,  platitudes  that  reality  standardized  to  lard  pas  by  le  themselves  de  As  H_,  a  porteurs  develop  must  be  involved  is  stifle  ordinary  a  stimulated.  develop  'c'est  role  states  he  mind  they  n'a  does  l a cannot  because  On  ideas.  besoin  artist  i n which Elle  their  ont  creativity  that  a l l deny  ideas?  Surely,  situations  H„  potential  j ' a i l a mienne.  generate  'vision'? or  tells  H_^  Les i d e e s , vous l e savez pour c i r c u l e r . . . ( p . 3 1 ) How  any  their  each  beau'  The  in The own  other's i s but  conversation  formulae.  new  father  one and in  61  C'est  beau  calls  his  son  . . . e s p e c e de p e t i t v a u r i e n . . . a l I o n s , o u s t e , t u n o u s d e r a n g e s ... ( p . 4 4 ) and  the son c r i t i c i z e s  h i sfather  for hiding  deguerpis,  behind  cliches.  F o u . . . M o i ? T o u j o u r s l e s memes r e f l e x e s d e d e f e n s e , l e s memes e c h a p p a t o i r e s , l e s memes camouflages...(p.43) H_ —zr  crushes  which  F — '—s u n e x p r e s s e d  i s inflexible  o p i n i o n s by s l a p p i n g  and pronounced  with  on an e p i t h e t ,  no a p p e a l  to reason.  E^: A l o r s v o u s a v e z tort. F: T i e n s , v o u s c r o y e z ? E^i S i j e l e c r o i s ? Mais j ' en s u i s s u r . A r c h i t o r t . . . ga ne t i e n d r a p a s , c e que v o u s p e n s e z . . . g a ne p e u t p a s t e n i r . C ' e s t f a u x . . . t o u t f a u x . . . ( p.16) F  t o E^ i n p l a t i t u d e s  speaks  as w e l l .  F: M a i s d i t e s d o n e . . . q u ' e s t - c e q u i vous prend? mais q u ' e s t - c e que vous avez? Vous perdez l a t e t e . . . ( p . 1 8 ) Cliches  not only  speaker's only F's  own c r e a t i v e  ideas, idea  stifle  the ideas of others faculties.  but the proponents  because  F doesn't  People  o f those  seem  very  but also  tend  limit the  to stifle not E_^_ p r e j u d g e s  ideas.  bright.  H^: . . . ^ a c o m p t e a c e p o i n t , c e q u ' e l l e p e u t penser? E^: Non...Oui...Enfin... H^: T i e n s . . . c ' e s t c u r i e u x . C ' e s t s u r e m e n t u n e b o n n e personne...Mais a v r a i d i r e , e l l e ne p a r a i t pas... : Oh j e s a i s . . . C e n ' e s t p a s u n f o u d r e . . . M a i s c e q u e nous d i s c u t i o n s , c e t a i t v r a i m e n t a l a p o r t e e . . . i l ne f a u t pas e t r e grand c l e r c . . . ( p . 1 4 ) 1  One  idea  cliches A  should  be combatted  o r because  creator  calcified  through  himself  with  discard  them.  receptive  must  by another  "a c e r t a i n regenerate imitation  and overuse.  tothe c r e a t i v i t y  a creator  of others,  what  He m u s t  of the past,  words,  n o t d e s t r o y e d by  utters i t .  or reactivate  t h e g r e a t works In other  person"  idea,  h a s become familiarize  a p p r e c i a t e them, b u t  must  be s e n s i t i v e a n d  to other  forms  and ideas  62  and a l l o w believe  and e n c o u r a g e t h e s e  in  h i s own  own i n d i s p u t a b l e , others  to  'truth'.  of  absolute  hold their  own  ideas,  while,  Elle  truth;  est  la  however,  'truths'.  at  the  same  believes  time, in  he does n o t  He begs F t o  his  allow  accept  his  truth. H „ , doux: D i t e s - m o i p o u r q u o i vous r e f u s e z quand c ' e s t c r i a n t de v e r i t e ? ( p . 2 5 ) He wants its  to  take F ' s  idea,  destroy  it  d'accepter...  and i n s t i l l  h i s own  in  place. H „ : Ce n ' e s t pas l a t e t e q u ' i l f a u t d e t r u i r e , c'est l * i d e e . . . P a s le p o r t e u r . . . m a i s 1'idee q u ' i l p o r t e . . . 1'idee s e u l e . . . l a traquer...1'ecraser... H^: O u i , a s s a i n i r . B i e n n e t t o y e r . F a i r e p l a c e n e t t e . . . H^: E t a l o r s on p o u r r a i t a c e t t e p l a c e , dans c e t t e meme t e t e , i n s t a l l e r . . . S e r e p a n d a n t d ' e l l e . . . S e p r o pageant. . . H^: e c l a i r a n t t o u t a u t o u r . . . H^ e t  So,  H ^ i dans un meme s o u f f l e :  he d e s t r o y s c r e a t i v i t y .  is  receptive  to  explain  to  to  the  la  verite...(p.30)  The son i n C ' e s t b e a u ,  c o n v i c t i o n s and v a l u e s o f  his parents  how t h e  phrase  unlike  others.  ' c ' e s t beau'  H^,,  He  tries  affects  him. Le f i l s , h e s i t a n t : Eh b i e n , c ' e s t c e t t e e x p r e s s i o n ' c ' e s t b e a u ' . . . c a me d e m o l i t t o u t . . . i l s u f f i t q u ' o n p l a q u e ga sur n'importe He r e j e c t s  quoi et  his parent's  expression that w i l l Ironically, ette'.  dividuals  his  in  give v o i c e to  p r e n d un a i r . . .  favour  of  h i s own v i e w o f  ' c ' e s t beau'  independence of  mind,  will  become as s t e r i l e  beau and E l l e impose t h e i r  est  with  values,  or  try  'c'est  which,  his  situations to,  reality. chou-  he p r o v e s h i m s e l f  as t h a t o f  la present  (p.59)  a new mode o f  r e p l a c i n g one c o n v e n t i o n w i t h a n o t h e r ,  generation, C'est  language  he s i m p l y r e p l a c e s  Despite  be m e r e l y  aussitot...tout  in  to his  parents. i n which  on o t h e r  people.  inSuch  63  an  attitude  his  innate  with  the  ideas. have and  leads  to  c a p a c i t y to  creative  The  any  protagonists of  C'est  beau  are  potential. to  voice  or  simply  criticized  ideas  to  themselves.  works  of  other  order  f o r him  er,  as  est  A  afraid  A  to  create  l a , however,  their  ones.  do  not  surround  themselves  creativity.  Finally,  a  le's  But  ce  their  well, who  own  they  holds Since  have  any  ited.  ideas  judge the  the  as  cannot  ideas.  Yet,  all,  a  play.  ause  their limit  ium  to  idea an  not  i n the  understand  the  there  conversation mutual  express  the deep  half  other  is  two  of  little  The  beau  each  only  to  in  oth-  stifle  other  t r y to  peopenfor-  ideas.  according  As  to  factor. Elle  est  this  l a do  process  they  do  no  i s an The  lim-  the  not  char-  exchange  It i s , after  communication  trite,  sentiments.  not  is  chapter,  dialogue  c h a r a c t e r s . Language or  but  the  C'est  in dialogue. or  their  ideas  or  plays  because  i s ridden; with  thoughts  of  sensitive  engaged  understanding.  with  which  communication  first  keep  themselves  and  vision  contrad-  disregard others'  beau  the  are  people  limiting  not  i n f l u e n c e d by  cliches be  his be  wantato  i t s merits,  C'est  each  characters  However,  between  on  potential,  shown  and  extremely  characters of  acters  contact  idea,  create  of  l a do  they  characters  i n these  truth  est  flow  express  be  by  The  c r e a t o r must  the  they  and  incompatible  free  Elle  lest  also  with  characters as  an  creative  For,  which  the  ideas  because  they  ideas.  and  surrounded  new  individual  f o r the  c r e a t o r must  c r e a t o r must  creators or  the  It i s , therefore, calls  or  Elle  reason.  of  which  icted  and  annihilation  process,  creative  they  the  banal  bec-  cliches  simply  maintains  inefficient second  half  med-e of  64  Chapter Other one  111  w i l l  factors  has  a  anyone  ture  of  of  even  or  and  more,  chapter,  anyone  else  person  on  1  speech.  The  by  i s  the  as  be  fact  that  tends  documents how  i t s very in  the  ges  into  the  depths  The  audience  the  the  same  one  reader  Sarraute  dialogue  things  of  not  Yet,  the  her as  i s  conveys  tyranny  plays  i t i s  father  secreting black  the  na-  underst-  second!.half to  know of  another  The the  like  an  subconversa-  at  the  level  i s unrealistic  simple  despite  and  to  i t  i t s  by  plun-  d i f f i c u l t  participate However,  the  as  directly because  characters  son  in  C'est  fear  he  i n s t i l l s  say  beau,  for  in  his  octopus.  Le f i l s : Eh b i e n , i l n'y a rien a faire...C'est plus f o r t que m o i , j e me r e t r a c t e . Dans un i n s t a n t ( v o i x t e r r i b l e p o u r r i r e ) j e v a i s , comme l a p i e u v r e , secre t e r . . . u n e e n c r e n o i r e va se r e p a n d r e . . . R e g a r d e papa, i l est tout recroqueville...(p.59) Tropisms, In Isma,  then,  Sarraute's many  in  radio  plays,  are  earlier  plays,  Le  factors  restrict  mutual  voiced. Silence,  Le  of  fluctuations.  constrained  say.  ink,  mutual  express  characters.  and  to  fluctuating  inarticulate  'pre-dialogue',  normally  d i f f i c u l t  knowledge  plays  audience  her  every-  appearances.  be  not  i n  his  must  instance, by  his  base  radio  radio  the  a l l ,  impossible  movements  experience  would  i t i s  of  i t i s  impedes  internal  wants  contains  and  nature  pre-dialogue.  into  to  discussed  to  the  the  as  due  communication.  F i r s t  Secondly,  self  w i l l  contains  speech,  understanding.  one's  one  dialogue  or  limits  r e l a t i o n s h i p s . What  discussed  which,  language  reality.  even  gestures,  Chapter  of  which  f u l l y  how  mutual  view  else  people  this  tion,  impede  unique  know  anding  examine  Mensonge  understanding,  yet  and  commun-  65  ication  takes  children sis.  place  i n Vous l e s  Similarly,  and t o  on a c e r t a i n  the  be r e c e p t i v e  level.  The f a t h e r  E n t e n d e z ? communicate father  in C'est  to  mother's  the  really  beau a p p e a r s  From S a r r a u t e ' s  obvious mother  are  members o f  c o n c l u s i o n that people admits  ton  to  her  son t h a t  are  understand  s e n s que du b i e n . at  all.  indulgence... Elle  a s s u m p t i o n t h a t we a r e  and so c l o s e l y k n i t  to  osmo-  feelings.  understand her m o t i v a t i o n  . . . j e p o u r r a i mieux c o m p r e n d r e m'exasperera m o i n s . . . ( p . 4 6 )  his  by a form o f  L u i : M a i s s i . D i s - l e . II y a l o n g t e m p s que j e t u me c a c h e s q u e l q u e c h o s e . A v o u e . Ca t e f e r a E t a moi a u s s i . . . B u t he d o e s n ' t  and  the  all  basically  same f a m i l y ,  alike, stems  even i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e .  their  roles  have been  the The  reversed.  E l l e : M a i s mon c h e r i , t u s a i s b i e n . . . j e v o u d r a i s que t u r e d e v i e n n e s comme t o u t a 1 ' h e u r e . . . q u a n d t u c o m p r e n a i s t o u t mieux que n o u s , quand t u s e n t a i s t o u t s i b i e n . . . C ' e s t nous q u i e t i o n s comme des e n f a n t s . . . ( p . 5 8 ) Yet,  despite  doesn't  the  family's  understand  her  closeness,  son at  the  mother  admits  that  she  all.  E l l e , au p e r e : A h , t u v o i s comme nous nous sommes t r o m p e s . Comme nous c o n a i s s i o n s mal n o t r e p r o p r e e n f a n t . . . C ' e s t v r a i , c ' e s t ceux q u ' o n c o n n a i t l e moins b i e n . . . ( p . 6 0 ) What impedes m u t u a l in  such c l o s e contact? Sarraute  self if  which operates  we c o n c e a l t h e  never  be much  Language, adequately of  understanding,  C'est  feels  as a h i n d r a n c e  'truth'  then,  to  between  that i t  is  p e o p l e who language  d i s c o v e r i n g the  from o u r s e l v e s  and o t h e r s ,  are  it-  'truth'; there  can  'understanding'. the  most common means o f  uncover o r d i s c o v e r the  beau e m p h a s i z e  the  communication,  truth.  inefficiency  does  The b e g i n n i n g of  langua'ge.  not  lines  66  L u i : C ' e s t b e a u , t u ne t r o u v e s E l l e , hesitante: Oui... Lui:  Tu  Lui  does  way  she  than  not  accept  the  language  rather  that  trouves  pronounces  simply  while but  ne  her  of  throughout  quacy  of  words  to  the  her  beau?(p.43)  such,  and  work,  express  our  but  word  'Oui'.  voice,  set  realizes  indicative  catalyst,  i n the  "reality"  as  as  tropistic  hesitations  here,  c'est  i s much more  1  value  i s the  the  que  answer  'Oui  face  communicate  real'  pas  pas?  the  deeper,  It  the  gestures  truth that,  language  and  silences  i n motion.  emphasizes more  the  is ironic  i t i s not  dialogue  Sarraute  of  that  the  So,  inade-  s u b t l e and  'more  feelings.  To  make  feelings,  things to  est  l a denies  her  reaction  worse,  maintain that  he  obsesses  a  language barrier  i s often  between  i s bothered  by  used  two  F's  to  hide  people.  a i r , when,  one's in  in  Elle  fact,  him.  H^: ...vous n ' e t e s pas dans v o t r e a s s i e t t e . . . J e vous d e r a n g e . . . . E^: M a i s p a s d u t o u t , m a i s a u c o n t r a i r e . . . ( p . 1 4 ) H,  "T:  then  ering  tells  him,  H„  —zr  that  although  he  he  understands  i s wondering  quite well what  what  is  both-  i s u p s e t t i n g H_^_  so  much. H^:  Dites-le  Language's  main  communication that  frahchement,  comprends  function i s probably  open.  o f t e n makes  cliches  s i n c e no  Cliches  stop  Yet,  i t a  For  ironically,  to  from  can  keep  We  adequately  t h i n k i n g and  example,  the  tres  bien...(p.14)  the  i t is this  repressive tool.  language  people  communicating.  je  parents  have  lines very  to  express  of  quality  resort  to  tropisms.  thereforeastpptthemSif'Eom i n C'est  beau  label  any  67  form  o f a r t as  'espece  de p e t i t  wife  that  that  'Nous  suis  fou...'  Cliches,  vaurien',  'Tu d e v i e n s  ...mais (p.18)  any  'beau'. A l s o ,  sommes  idiot',  i n Elle  agrees,  que vous  very  calls  aussi', while  fous...'  qu'est-ce  meaning,  'ce p e t i t  folle  a n d F , who  by t h e i r  the father  and reminds h i s  later  o n he  e s t l a admits  Vous  perdez  are overused  so a r e pronounced  'fou',  admits  t h a t 'Je  exclaims  avez?  nature,  h i s son  with  l a tete...  and t h e r e f o r e  no a p p e a l  t o man's  lose  rational  faculties. The fles  structure of their  thought  logical and  argument  means.  Their  anyone  I n an a r t i c l e  structure of Nathalie  shows  conversation  o r e v o l u t i o n . There  no one c o n v i n c e s  gical the  processes.  conversation  does  language  at least  Denise  Sarraute's  sti-  n o t f o l l o w any  a r e no s u s t a i n e d  of anything, on Isma,  how  speeches  n o t byl o -  Goitein  discusses  dialogue.  Le d i a l o g u e de N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e ne f a i t p a s e n lui-meme p r o g r e s s e r l a p i e c e , c a r aucun echange r e e l n'a l i e u . L e s r e p l i q u e s , au sens c l a s s i q u e du terme, s o n t a b s e n t e s . Le d i a l o g u e s e compose p l u t o t de s e r i e s d ' e n o n c e s , s o u v e n t inacheves, q u i s u r g i s s e n t spontanement, l ' u n suggerant l ' a u t r e , sans que 1'enchainement o b e i s s e a l a l o g i q u e normale. 1  When, er the  a t the beginning  of not being father  reinact is  able  reacts  the scene  right.  Since  understanding, situation  of C'est  t o pronounce  angrily  no amount  again,  the son accuses  ' c ' e s t beau'  the fath-  i n front  o f him,  and p r o t e s t s . So, t h e s o n wants t o  i n t h e hope  they  beau,  of proving  of explanation  can only  'start  put themselves  to h i s father can c l e a r  again',  inside  enter  that  he  up t h e m i s into the  by t h e power  of  imagin-  68  a t i o n and the v e r b a l magic, i n the hope o f c r e a t i n g the i d e a l atmosphere. Thus, the son suggests T i e n s , recommencons...Pour v o i r . . . J e v a i s a l l e r dans ma chambre...Et t o i , t u vas r e p e t e r , t u vas d i r e comme t o u t a l'heure: "C'est beau, hein? Tu ne trouves pas?" (p.44) L a t e r , when the f a t h e r , angry and f r u s t r a t e d t h a t , as p a r e n t s , they f a i l  to stand up to t h e i r c o n v i c t i o n s , suggests  that  there i s o n l y one p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n , the mother reminds him . . .C_a ne s e r v i r a i t a r i e n . Tu s a i s b i e n qu'on n'y a r r i v e r a i t pas...C'est t o i q u i c o u r r a i t l e r a p p e l e r . . . Et ca recommencerait comme avant...(p.48) When the son reappears a t the end o f the p l a y from h i s bedroom, the mother t r i e s to r e c a p t u r e the c o n v e r s a t i o n , as she i s sure t h a t the three o f them were headed f o r a compromise, a common understanding. E l l e : ...On a l l a i t toucher e n f i n a quelque entre nous...(p.58)  chose...  She begs her son to become as he was e a r l i e r . Mais, mon c h e r i , t u s a i s b i e n . . . j e v o u d r a i s que t u redeviennes comme t o u t a 1'heure...(p.58) The  same phenomenon occurs i n E l l e e s t l a when H„ has c a l l e d —zr  F i n t o h i s o f f i c e f o r the second  time i n an e f f o r t to c r e a t e  the a p p r o p r i a t e atmosphere t o c l e a r up t h e i r  misunderstanding.  F i s aware o f H 's motives. — — z — F: Bon, bon. Tres b i e n . Mais ce n'est pas pour r e commencer, hein? Pas maintenant...(p.23) T h i s type o f d i a l o g u e doesn't pretend to be an exchange o f ideas o r a means of any progress i n understanding; a l l i t does i s show how language  fails  to lead t h e i r d i s c u s s i o n s to any  l o g i c a l c o n c l u s i o n . T h i s movement towards  ' s t a r t i n g again'  69  lends they  a circular are  Another  back  at  structure the  technique  attempts  at  dialogue  comes  The  Oui,  pattern  unication. mother ting  play  having  the  c'est n'est  that  at  the  accomplished  uselessness  each o t h e r  a standstill  so  is  of  that,  and t h e y  t  nothing.  their  at  forget  end,  feeble  times,  where  ce que j ' a i f a i t . . . j e n ' a i pas e n c o r e a s s e z . . . M a i s ou  their  they  are  pas est-  o u e s t - o n ? . . . ( p . 17) of To  replies  that  shows  understanding  F: . . . D ' a i l l e u r s , b r o n c h e . . . M a i s ce on? r^:  the  beginning,  that  to  to  she  their every with does  dialogue statement either  not  indicates that  the  a question  understand  a total father  or  lack  utters,  a statement  of  comm-  the  indicant  him.  L u i ; t o n f e r m e : C ' e s t f i n i . T e r m i n e . P o u c e . J e ne v e u x plus jouer. E l l e : Q u ' e s t - c e que t u as? L u i : J ' a i q u e t u a s commis u n e e r r e u r . Une e r r e u r f a t a l e . E l l e : Q u e l l e e r r e u r ? Encore avec l u i ? Encore l e s langes? les biberons? L u i : N o n . Une e r r e u r , l a , m a i n t e n a n t a v e c m o i . O u i . Tu as c h a n g e de j e u . En d o u c e . M a i s m o i , j ' a i v u . Tu a v a i s b e s o i n du p e r e J a n e t . E t des f i l s A u b r y . Eh b i e n , moi j e t e d e m a n d e . m a i n t e n a n t d e me d o n n e r l a m e r e D u r a n t o n . . . le pere Duranton...Parfaitement, le pere et l a mere... E l l e : Quoi? L u i : O u i . Donne-les-moi. A l l o n s , donne. Et maintenant l a f i l l e et le f i l s . Oui, Duranton. Toute l a f a m i l l e . E l l e : Q u ' e s t - c e que t u en f e r a s ? L u i : T u v a s v o i r . I I me l e s f a u t . E t a u s s i l e s H e r b a r t . . . E l l e : J e n e c o m p r e n d s r i e n . . . ( p . 5.3 ) The  same p a t t e r n  appears  in  Elle  est  la  between  F and  .  H : I I f a u t que j e v o u s p a r l e . . . F: O u i ? De q u o i ? r ^ : C ' e s t i d i o t . . . c ' e s t t r e s d i f f i c i l e . . . J e ne s a i s p a s c o m m e n t . . . P a r ou c o m m e n c e r . . . F: A l l e z - y t o u j o u r s . Q u ' e s t - c e que j ' a i e n c o r e f a i t ? H^i Oh r i e n . R i e n . R i e n j u s t e m e n t , v o u s n ' a v e z r i e n f a i t . Rxen d i t . Vous vous t a i s i e z . . . F: I I f a l l a i t q u e j e p a r l e ? H^i O u i , 9a a u r a i t mieux v a l u . . . F : Que j e p a r l e q u a n d ? Que j e p a r l e d e q u o i ? j e n e c o m 2  70  prends rien.(p.16) H, a l s o expresses a lack of understanding between him and — r  . zr  E L : PouquOi? Je ne comprends pas...Ca compte a ce p o i n t , ce q u ' e l l e peut penser?(p.14)  Another speech p a t t e r n t h a t destroys3.any?.attempt;.at-communi c a t i n g i s exemplified by o r d e r i n g  by the mother who  stifles  communication  the f a t h e r to be q u i e t .  L u i : Ca va c o n t i n u e r longtemps? Assez...Je n'ne peux plus. Arretez... E l l e , t o u t bas: A t t e n t i o n , qu'est-ce que t u f a i s ? Tais-toi... L u i : Je ne peux pas, c ' e s t au-dessus de mes f o r c e s . £a me dcnne l e t o u r n i s , ca me f a i t mal au coeur,.. E l l e , bas: Mais t a i s - t o i done...(p. 50) So, people won't l i s t e n when the ideas being suggested are d i s t u r b i n g . Of course,here, n e i t h e r the f a t h e r or the mother are  l i s t e n i n g . The f a t h e r pays no a t t e n t i o n to her  'tais-toi'.  A r e l a t e d p a t t e r n of speech, t h a t of echoing each other's statements does imply a c e r t a i n amount of communication, a l though i n S a r r a u t e ' s p l a y s , there In E l l e e s t l a , H^, g i v e s  i s no development of i d e a s .  the impetus to continue h i s i d e a  and v i c e v e r s a , but t h i s type of d i a l o g u e ,  with no  sustained  speeches, no arguments or d i s c u s s i o n s does not engender any development. I t i s a k i n d of mechanical r e a c t i o n by convention, devoid of any s e r i o u s a t t e n t i o n or attempt a t a t r e a l  discuss-  ion. H^: Notre idee s e r a i t happee, t r a i n e e , enfermee, la-bas, engluee de bave, a p l a t i e , ecrasee...On d i r a i t que l a - b a s , un boa c o n s t r i c t o r . . . : Moi, je v o i s p l u t o t comme une p e t i t e machine, une mecanique broyeuse q u i automatiquement... H 2 : C'est ga: automatiquement. Une f o r c e aveugle: On peut p r e d i r e , p r e v o i r d'avance.... : Un mecanisme e s t l a , dans c e t t e c e r v e l l e . . . e t au-to-  71  ma-tique-ment i l va s a i s i r , b r o y e r , r e d u i r e en b o u i l l i e . . . H_: ce q u i r e s p i r e . . . c e q u i v e u t v i v r e . . . e t rien contre c a . : Pas moyen de b o u g e r . ( p . 2 7 ) As H_£ and vicious  suggest above,  circle,  i.e.  the  stifles  and t h e i r thought,  dialogue,  thereby  The d i a l o g u e o f f e r s  of  words.  least  sympathetic  word c a u s e s t h e  that  w i t h her  father  of  stating  c o m m u n i c a t i o n by s h o w i n g b o t h t h e ^ i n a d e q u a c y  indicates  a  forced  cliches,  communication.  of  'feignant'  in  innermost  composed p r i m a r i l y  b e s t medium f o r  The way t h e m o t h e r  peut  trapped  They a r e  express t h e i r  limiting  the  on ne  are  ' p a s moyen de b o u g e r ' .  t o use l a n g u a g e w h i c h does n o t thoughts  characters  en p o u s s i e r e ,  the  problem  and t h e  power  i n C ' e s t beau p r o n o u n c e s t h e  she i s son's  trying  t o be a p a r t o f ,  generation.  to q u e s t i o n t h e i r  Her u s e o f  word or  at  this  values.  E l l e , avec d e f i : S i . Je l ' a i d i t , " F e i g n a n t . " P o u r q u o i pas? L u i : O h , mon p a u v r e c h e r i . . . F a u t - i l que t u s o u f f r e s . . . V o i l a a q u o i t u en es a r r i v e e . . . V o i l a a q u o i c e p e t i t v a u r i e n t ' a p o u s s e e . . . A a l l e r te c o m m e t t r e . . . t ' e n e n c a n a i l l e r . . . A te d e g r a d e r . . . t e galvauder...(p.49) Not o n l y  the  a synonym f o r  pronounciation of  a word c a n r e p r e s e n t  The son d i s c a r d s t h e s e n t e d by  a word,  values of  'c'est beau',  but  the  a different  his parents'  by s u b s t i t u t i n g  the  substitution way o f  generation,  of  thinking. repre-  synonym,'c'est  chouette'. Lui, Here,  ravi:  the  conflict  The power o f Besides  . . . C h o u e t t e . . . 11 p e u t  the  is  exacerbated  suffire  d ' u n m o t . . . (p.60)  by a p a r t i c u l a r  word c o u l d n o t be u n d e r l i n e d more  language,  communication i s  further  utterance. clearly.  impeded b e c a u s e  72  each and  person father  has  h i s own,  interpret  pronounces  'beau'  separate  differently  in front  of  view the  their  E l l e : N ' e m p e c h e q u a u n moment, eu p e u r a u s s i , avoue-le...  The  Peur?  mother,  below when  the she  Moi?  who  of  sensitive  dialogue,  pregnant  where  The  the  mother father  son. flanche, tu  as  r e v e s . . . (p.45)  i s more  level was  Tu  reality.  scene  tu'as  1  Lui:  of  and  to  dwells  wishing  the  undercurrents  i n the  that  past,  she  that l i e  remembering  wasn't.  E l l e : J e ne me l e p a r d o n n e r a i j a m a i s . C a m'a p r i s e t o u t a c o u p . Une a f f r e u s e p e n s e e . . . T o u t a c o u p . Oh, c ' e s t t e r r i b l e : j e n'en v o u l a i s p a s . ( p . 4 7 ) The  father,  on  the  other  hand,  lives  i n the  L u i , f r o i d : De t o u t e m a n i e r e , a quoi l ' o u b l i e r . Ce q u i e s t f a i t e s t f a i t . le changeras pas...(p.48) He  lives  on  the  surface of  life,  present.  bon? I I v a u t mieux M a i n t e n a n t t u ne  preoccupied  with  his  business  affairs. Le f i l s , t r e s c a l m e e t un peu c o n d e s c e n d a n t : ...mais tout a l'heure, M.Bertrand a a p p e l e . C ' e s t moi q u i a i r e p o n d u . . . i l va r a p p e l e r . . . L u i , s o u l a g e : A q u e l l e heure...(p.62) Similarly,  H_  F' s d i f f e r i n g  in Elle idea,  est  la is sensitive  whereas  H^_  and  i s concerned  obsessed  with  day  to  with day  affairs. H „ : . . . M a i s j u s t e un instant...permettez-moi...excusezm o i . . . j e d o i s . . . j e r e v i e n s t o u t de s u i t e ( S o r t . R e v i e n t . ) Trop tard, e l l e n'est plus l a . H : Qui done? H 2 : Ce n ' e s t r i e n . . . j ' a u r a i s v o u l u . . . M a i s e l l e e s t d e j a p a r t i e . . . O u i , l a personne q u i . . . H^: I I y a q u e l q u e c h o s e q u e v o u s d e v i e z l u i d i r e ? H^: Oui, justement... H,: V o u s ne p o u v e z p a s l a i s s e r u n m e s s a g e ? . . . L a j o i n d r e cnez e l l e , telephoner? YL^'. Non, v o u s s a v e z ... comme g a . . . c ' e s t d i f f i c i l e . . . M a i s c e n ' e s t r i e n . . . N ' y p e n s o n s p l u s . . . A l o r s , v o u s me disiez? H., : E h b i e n , j e c o n s t a t a i s s e u l e m e n t q u e d a n s l a c o n j o n c -  73  ture  actuelle...etant  H_ s e e s t h e  world  donne l e  in black  tour  que p r e n n e n t . . . (p.13)  and w h i t e as o p p o s e d t o H„ who s e e s  —^3"  — z r  the  shadows. H_: J ' a i v u s a nuque e c l a i r e e p a r l a l a m p e . . . C a m'a r a p p e l e de nos p r o j e t s . . . B^: Pas m o i , c a m'a a t t e n d r i . . . Q u e l q u e c h o s e d ' i n n o cent...sans defense... E U : J ' a i vu comme e l l e a s u r s a u t e , r i e n d ' e t o n n a n t , e l l e ne s ' y a t t e n d a i t p a s , e l l e s ' e s t r e t o u r n e e , elle a mis l a main s u r s o n c o e u r , e l l e a d i t : " O h , v o u s m'avez f a i t p e u r . . . " H „ : E t c ' e s t t o u t ? Vous n ' a v e z vu r i e n d ' a u t r e ? : Non, r i e n . . . ( p . 3 2 )  What  limits  c o m m u n i c a t i o n e v e n more t h a n  the  by e a c h p e r s o n h a v i n g a u n i q u e p e r s p e c t i v e , o f most p e o p l e  to  and e v e n g e s t u r e s .  arrives  at  is  the  reduce a p e r s o n ' s complexity  and r e c o n s t r u c t p e r s o n a l i t y  and d i s t o r t s  barriers  This  on t h e  basis of  "subjective"  o u r knowledge  of  view  another  to  tendency stereotypes,  letters,  of  reality  person. For  a s s u m p t i o n s b a s e d on a s i n g l e g e s t u r e  erected  documents limits  example, or  facial  expression. H „ : Vous n ' a v e z pas remarque? Vous ne l ' a v e z pas s e n t i ? E l l e n ' e t a i t pas de n o t r e a v i s . M a i s pas du t o u t . . . (p.14) Perhaps tion  the  above a n a l y s i s a b o u t  contradicts  sets  s p o k e n means o f cial  limitations  what was p o s t u l a t e d  d i s c u s s i o n on c o m m u n i c a t i o n - i . e . which r e a l l y  the  the  dialogue  at  that  it  in motion,  beginning of  is  not  but  the  rather  this  s p o k e n word the  un-  c o m m u n i c a t i o n s u c h as s i l e n c e s , g e s t u r e s ,  e x p r e s s i o n s and i n t o n a t i o n s .  However,  any medium by w h i c h we communicate i s s p o k e n word o f t e n language  the  of communica-  betrays  can a l s o o f t e n  tropistic  the  limiting.  reactions,  be m i s i n t e r p r e t e d  point  is  fa-  that  Whereas  the  so u n s p o k e n  and f u r t h e r m o r e  does  74  not  adequately ...II fait  express our  feelings.  As  rightly  ne f a u t pas se f i e r aux a p p a r e n c e s . pas l e m o i n e . . . ( p . 2 0 )  Therefore, ficient  if  neither  mediums o f  understanding Not o n l y  is  dialogue  exactly  In  create  1  then  ne are  any s i g n i f i c a n t  suf-  mutual  impossible.  c a n we n e v e r  flux.  L habit  nor unspoken language  communication,  c a n we know o u r s e l v e s . constant  says  C'est  fully  know anyone e l s e ,  Human b e i n g s beau,  a previous  the  but  neither  and r e l a t i o n s h i p s  mother  tries  are  in vain  in  to  incident.  L u i : . . . I I f a u t s a v o i r ce que t u v e u x . Q u ' i l r e c o m m e n c e ? . . . Le f i l s , l ' a i r n a i f : Que j e recommence q u o i ? E l l e : M a i s mon c h e r i , t u s a i s b i e n . . . j e v o u d r a i s que t u r e d e v i e n n e s comme t o u t a 1 ' h e u r e . . . ( p . 5 8 ) Everyone,  influenced  by e v e n t s ,  feelings,  constantly  undergoing mutations;  one's  or  self  Language, inadequate  anyone e l s e the  for  which,  stimulus  far  thought  son's else's one's So,  only of  is  i m p o s s i b l e to  also  o u r deep f e e l i n g s . the  limited  Even i f  is  unique  mind.  Thus,  or  as i t  to  know  is  language still  and we c a n n e v e r  no one c a n f u l l y  jump t o c o n c l u s i o n s document.  r i d d e n r.with rather  limited.  tropistic For each  be i n s i d e  understand  cliches,  stifle  could express be  is  A message may  a written  communication,  communication would  reality  tendency  a gesture  from e n g e n d e r i n g  processes.  reactions,  is  most common means by w h i c h we c o m m u n i c a t e ,  transmitting  Spoken l a n g u a g e  is  people,  well.  be m i s c o n s t r u e d as we have from the  so i t  other  per-  someone  anyone e l s e  or  self. Sarraute,  in  her  last  two p l a y s ,  plaints  a quite  nihili-  75  stic  canvas  relationship  of  man's  with  endeavours  others.  to  engage  into  a meaningful  76  Eootnotes  D e n i s e G o i t e i n , "A P r o p o s d'Isma: R e f l e x i o n s s u r l e t h e a t r e de N a t h a l i e S a r r a u t e . " F r e n c h S t u d i e s : A Q u a r t e r l y R e v i e w , 30, 1976, p.53.  77  CONCLUSION,  Perhaps because S a r r a u t e ' s e a r l i e r n o v e l s were i n i t i a l l y unp o p u l a r , she became p r e o c c u p i e d  i n h e r l a t e r works w i t h t h e  c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s . Many o f the c h a r a c t e r s i n h e r t h r e e r a d i o p l a y s , Le S i l e n c e , Le Mensonge and Isma as w e l l as i n the n o v e l s , E n t r e l a v i e e t l a mort and Vous l e s Entendez? are p o t e n t i a l c r e a t o r s . C e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s , however, must be met f o r the c r e a t i v e process t o take p l a c e . As was demonstrated i n Le S i l e n c e , s i l e n c e i s necessary and, c o n s e q u e n t l y ,  t o prod the a r t i s t i n a c r e a t i v e mood. H_^_  the r e s t o f the c h a r a c t e r s r e a c t t o Jean-  P i e r r e 's s i l e n c e . They shape a p e r s o n a l i t y f o r him based, n o t on f a c t s , but on t h e i r s u b j e c t i v e i m a g i n i n g s , thereby c r e a t i n g . F^ supposes t h a t J e a n - P i e r r e i s t i m i d , w h i l e  l a b e l s him an  impostOT. On the o t h e r hand, the c h a r a c t e r s i n C'est beau and E l l e e s t l a l a c k c r e a t i v e p o t e n t i a l as they are a f r a i d t o v o i c e t h e i r opinions.  i n E l l e e s t l a i s a f r a i d o f e x p o s i n g an o r i -  g i n a l i d e a l e s t i t be c o n t r a d i c t e d and unpopular.  He p o i n t s o u t  to H_^ t h a t " E l l e n ' e t a i t pas de n o t r e a v i s . Mais pas du t o u t ..."(p.14) A c r e a t o r must a l s o be s e n s i t i v e t o the medium through which he i s e x p r e s s i n g h i m s e l f . J u s t as L u i and E l l e i n Isma are s e n s i t i v e t o words ending  i n 'isme', so the  child  i n E n t r e l a v i e e t l a mort shows s i g n s o f c r e a t i v i t y by b e i n g r e p u l s e d by e l o n g a t e d vowels i n such words as ' v a a l i s e ' o r ' v a a a c a t i o n ' . The p a r e n t s i n C'est beau, however, spout c l i c h e s . They l a b e l any form o f a r t as beau and the son f a i l s i n h i s e f f o r t t o be ' d i f f e r e n t ' by s i m p l y r e p l a c i n g 'beau' w i t h a synonym 'chouette'. H„ i n E l l e e s t l a even t r i e s t o d e s t r o y F' s  78  idea,  thereby  s u p r e s s i n g any c r e a t i v e  imagination,  sensitivity  self  prerequisites  are  all  creative  process i s  a critical  half  and a w i l l i n g n e s s to  painful  and a c r e a t i v e  other words,  the  of  the  imagination,  is  difficult  initial eity not  to  critical  cation,  for  task  of  The v e r y  Her  the  Sarraute,  core of  task  is  However,  decides that  other  feeling,  theme o f literary  It  the  this  language. the a  It  therefore  i n e f f i c i e n c y of  'trompe  authentic less,  l'oeil'  threatens  seems n a t u r a l  verbal  It  the  spontan..  i s communi-  was f a c e d w i t h  creativity. are  tropisms,  to  the  around the  t h a t one o f  inarti-  subcon-  words.  escape the  adequately  She  to our environment.  Speech i s  is  to c o n c r e -  strictures her  express our  themes  of is  simply  deeper,  full  of  use-  m e a n i n g l e s s c l i c h e s w h i c h do n o t e n g e n d e r c o m m u n i c a t i o n .  She e v e n s u g g e s t s t h a t o u r s p e e c h p a t t e r n s thought. plays  dead.  e x p r e s s i o n . Spoken words a r e  and do n o t  reactions  conflict.  therefore,  thesis  career,  has  product  is  the  is,  transform tropisms into  and f e e l i n g  artist in  f a c e d w i t h two o p p o s i n g f o r c e s as l a n g u a g e a t t e m p t s tize  actual  without destroying  f e e l i n g s which s k i r t to  often  t h e work  spirit.  S a r r a u t e ' s works  the  as e v e r y  h a r d e n and k i l l  creative  i n her  express one's  which are  e x p r e s s i n g on p a p e r h e r  sensations or  scious.  the  So, s i l e n c e ,  m i n d , upon r e r e a d i n g  s e n s a t i o n . Words t e n d t o  and f r e s h n e s s o f  culate  half  concretize creativity  surprising that  the  creativity.  to  and f r u s t r a t i n g  In  creative  potential.  We have s e e n t h a t  the  characters  do n o t communicate w i t h e a c h o t h e r ,  actually in  stifle  Sarraute's  although they  radio are  en-  g a g e d i n c o n v e r s a t i o n . Y v o n n e , L u c i e and Simone i n Le Mensonge  79  all  respond to  an e m b a r r a s s i n g  situation  by s p o u t i n g c l i c h e s .  Y v o n n e : J ' a u r a i s v o u l u r e n t r e r sous t e r r e . L u c i e : M o i a u s s i . J e ne s a v a i s pas ou me m e t t r e . S i m o n e : O h ! On m o u r a i t . ( p . 6 4 ) Compounded by t h e  use of  mutual . u n d e r s t a n d i n g subjective  v e r s i o n of  anyone e l s e . to  their  is  c l i c h e s , w h i c h do n o t the  fact  visit  to  F's  est  exists  and i n  underneath  inarticulate Sarraute use o f  la  react  very  differently  office.  spite  of  our c l i c h e - r i d d e n  speech a l e v e l  of  has s u c c e e d e d i n  capturing  and m e t a p h o r s  these  w h i c h accompany o r p r e c e d e  In  her  fact,  novels  subconversation. strates  the  critic,  eager  aime v o t r e veals  his  understand  c o n s i s t of  An example  to  livre.  please  the  the  from E n t r e  artist's  work a t  thoughts.  thoughts  words we speak of  la vie  tells  the  and aloud.  conversation et  l a mort  and  demon-  him "Eh b i e n o u i .  s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n , however,  n e r v o u s n e s s , s h o w i n g t h a t he has n o t the  is  s p e e c h and s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n . A  author,  Beaucoup." His  there  and e x p r e s s i n g t h r o u g h  an i n t e r p l a y  d i s c r e p a n c y between  language,  authentic  half-formed  feelings  m'a  s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n which  but which c o u l d express our  images  own  c a n n o t be u n d e r s t o o d by  : J ' a i vu s a nuque e c l a i r e e p a r l a l a m p e . . . g a r a p p e l e de nos p r o j e t s . . . K^: Pas m o i , c a m'a a t t e n d r i . . . ( p . 3 2 ) Nevertheless,  any  t h a t e a c h p e r s o n has h i s  reality,-which  H_ and H_ i n E l l e  engender  attempted  J'ai re-  to  all.  II se p e n c h e , i l se t e n d , i l s ' o u v r e p o u r a b s o r b e r l e s mots q u i s u i v r o n t . . . d e s mots s a n s l i e n v i s i b l e e n t r e e u x . . . i l s tombent d u r s e t d r u s . . . ( p . 1 4 0 ) This  example  that  it  is  points  out  i m p o s s i b l e to  how i n e f f e c t u a l express one's  speech r e a l l y true  feelings  is and  and thus  80  communicate w i t h e a c h Sarraute  was  faced with a d i f f i c u l t  missioned to w r i t e interplay the  of  b a s i s of  dialogue  i.e.  exist  the  at  situation not  other.  radio  plays.  No l o n g e r  s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n and a c t u a l her  novels.  express level  of  where t h e  tropisms  out  characters  comthe  c o n v e r s a t i o n which  loud.  speech, Sarraute  when she was  c o u l d she show  She had t o weave  subconversation Since tropisms  had t o  say t h i n g s  create  they  is into  do  an  not  unreal  normally  would  say. To show how she overcame  examine  and compare  n o v e l Vous l e s beau.  situation  two p a s s a g e s s i m i l a r  alternates  the  radio  action  In  both,  of the  tween t r a d i t i o n a l  other  between  both  the  action  traditional  values  the  they  are  past.  the  father's  for  generations;  In  as t h e  parents  novel, of  ideas,  literature  t h a t govern the  works  their  parents'  ideas  art.  the  The  in C'est like  is  cliche  principles,  parents'  is  setting family be-  father  beau  hold  museums and turned  s y m b o l i z e d by  t h a t has been handed down  beau t h e  values,  conver-  The  reverently  attitude  a statuette  in C'est  all  this  They  C'est  a conflict  approaches to  the  everyday  play  form of  tradition,  while  the  the  champions o f  symbolizes  find  takes  tastes.  the  play,  expressed aloud. and t h e  let's  one f r o m  from a r a d i o  and a e s t h e t i c  adoration  theme,  s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n and  novel  and i n n o v a t i v e  E n t e n d e z ? as w e l l  exhibits;  in  p l a y pr.esents..an o r d i n a r y ,  i n Vous l e s  toward  seemingly impossible task,  where s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n i s  dramatic  nucleus.  the  E n t e n d e z ? and t h e  The n o v e l  sation while  of  task  lives.  'c'est  music,  art  The c h i l d r e n  o l d - f a s h i o n e d and  beau' and in  both  restrictive,  81  favouring sion.  i n s t e a d an u n r e s t r a i n e d  They a r e  the  revolutionary  the  future.  The f o l l o w i n g  the  part of  the  'beau'  and  The f a t h e r  his  s c e n e where  their  parents'  i n Vous l e s E n t e n d e z ? i s  love of they  expres-  resolutely violent  use of  facing  reaction  the  on  cliche  beau'.  he t o o k h i s c h i l d r e n t o them t o  creative  innovators,  p a s s a g e s show t h e  c h i l d r e n to  'c'est  freedom of  t h e museum i n  art.  In  his  thinking the  hope o f  imagination  were s t a n d i n g i n  front  of  about  the  time  converting  he r e l i v e s  the  some p a i n t i n g s  .. a and  sculptures: . . . l u i , j e t a n t a p e i n e un coup d ' o e i l , p o u r s ' a s s u r e r que l e s r a y o n s b i e n f a i s a n t s q u i emanent de c e s p i e r r e s s c u l p t e e s , de c e s t o i l e s p e i n t e s , tombent b i e n s u r e u x , q u ' i l s s o n t p o u r c e l a a bonne d i s t a n c e , a u . b o n e n d r o i t . . . T i e n s , m e t s - t o i l a , ou j e s u i s , i c i , s u r l e c o t e . . . a c o n t r e - j o u r tu v e r r a s m i e u x . . . l e s poussant devant l u i d o u c e m e n t , se p l a c a n t n ' i m p o r t e o u , ne r e g a r d a n t r i e n . . . r i e n q u e u x p o u r s u i v r e en eux l e c h e m i n e m e n t . . . n e p o u v a n t p a r moments s ' e m p e c h e r , s a c h a n t c o m b i e n c ' e s t d a n g e r e u x , d ' a i d e r , de h a t e r un p e u . . . E s t - c e b e a u , h e i n , ga? n ' e s t - c e pas b e a u , h e i n ? . . . E t e u x , comme des e s c a r g o t s , comme l e s h e r i s s o n s , a u s s i t o t se r e c r o q u e v i l l a n t , r e n t r e n t l e u r s c o r n e s , s o r t e n t l e u r s p i q u a n t s , i l s ne s o n t . p l u s q u ' u n e c o q u i l l e , une b o u l e a u t o u r de l a q u e l l e i l t o u r n e . . . C e s t sa f a u t e , i l l e s a i t , i l a ete m a l a - c d r o i t , i l a f a i t un mouvement t r o p o s e , t r o p fort...ils sont s i s e n s i b l e s , s i delicats...(p.42) 1  1  Although this  scene takes  a d i s t i n c t i o n between He t e l l s ici,  one o f  sur le  down,  his  his  place  The r e s t  he u t t e r s drawal.  the  Their  of  contre-jour  word  the  passage i s  'beau',  rejection  father's  "Tiens, mets-toi  he a l s o s a y s " E s t - c e b e a u ,  hein?"  the  mind,  there  is  s p o k e n words and h i s s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n .  children  cote...a  in  tu verras hein,  la,  mieux"  ou j e and  ga? n ' e s t - c e  suis, further  pas b e a u ,  s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n . As s o o n as  he f e e l s  the  i s manifested  children's  sudden  by a t r o p i s m -  with-  a metaphor  82  compares These  the  movements  tionships, The tion  but  son  of  the  mockery.  however, to his  say  al  through aware  aversion that  speech.  black  are  ink  retracts  of  and  he  'c'est  beau' even  in  afraid  the  walls  his  own  the  In  the  in  speech.  repulsed  by  the  of  The  himself  and  compares  his  parents  t h e i r son  reach  i t to  the  delights  but  ears.  not  the  He  son  i n normal,  an  octopus  that  father  to  a  who,  snail  The  his  his  lest son, parents explains  verbalizes  to  of  fear  other  in daring  beau'.  pronouncia-  they  each  son's  rela-  are. a f r a i d  as  passage,  'c'est father  a l l  of  following  his  shells.  level  saying  power,  compares  its  of  and  expression  arouses  the  beau'.  front  their  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of  is equally  He  into  retract into  f o r t h are  beau  beau'. to  s ; n a i l s who  i n a r t i c u l a t e at  'c'est  'c'est  terror  are  to  expression  They  filter  back  i n C'est  pronouncing  it  children  the  natur-  secretes when  afraid,  shell.  « Le f i l s : Eh b i e n , i l n'y.a rien a f a i r e . . . c ' e s t plus f o r t que m o i , j e me r e t r a c t e . D a n s u n i n s t a n t (voix t e r r i b l e p o u r r i r e ) j e v a i s comme l a p i e u v r e , secret e r . . . u n e e n c r e n o i r e v a se r e p a n d r e . . . R e g a r d e , papa, i l est deja tout recroqueville... E l l e e t L u i , v o i x b l a n c h e s : T u ne t r o u v e s p a s ga b e a u ? Tu d e t e s t e s c a . . . t o u t ga... L e f i l s , c o n d e s c e n d a n t : M a i s , n o n , v o y o n s . . . i l ne s ' a g i t p a s de ca... Eux, a v e c e s p o i r : P a s de g a . . .Oh mon cheri...de quoi alors? L e f i l s : C ' e s t . . . m a i s ga me g e n e de v o u s l e d i r e . . . j e v a i s vous choquer... E l l e : Non, non, je t'en p r i e , d i s - l e . . . Le f i l s , h e s i t a n t : Eh b i e n , c ' e s t c e t t e e x p r e s s i o n "c'est b e a u " . . . g a me d e m o l i t . . . i l s u f f i t q u ' o n p l a q u e ga sur n ' i m p o r t e q u o i e t a u s s i t o t . . . t o u t p r e n d un air... E l l e : O u i . . . j e c r o i s que j e v o i s . . . Le f i l s : O u i , t u v o i s . E l l e : Je comprends...;ga d e v i e n t convenu...n'est-ce pas? L e f i l s : O u i , s i t u v e u x . . . C e s s o r t e s de b a n a l i t e s des qu'on l e s a p p l i q u e . . . (C'est beau , i n Theatre,p. ) Whereas  the  novel  shows  the  discrepancy  between  conversation  83  and s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n , and c l i c h e s .  It  self,  as t h e  son d o e s ,  black  ink  out  on i t s  loud.  stic  is  the  normal to  victim,  However,  and f u l l  not  radio  of  the  only  communicate  his  rest  cliches.  ever,  Sarraute not  all  the  to  tropisms  compare  going to  The t r o p i s m  dialogue  is  is  expressed  normal,  The d i s c r e p a n c y between  reali-  conversation  a s p o k e n t r o p i s m and e v e r y d a y the  inefficiency  of  language  externalizes  tropisms  radio  plays.  drawn  ky r e g i o n s where t r o p i s m s  flourish.  There  are  t h o s e who  to  things,  pointing  is  are  potential  have  out  the  mately  tropisms  to  play  that  words,  there  existence.  his  By t h e  they  individuals  the r e a d e r ,  Jean-Pierre's  corresponding unease. the  neutral  These i n d i v i d u a l s  he communicates  sensitive.  other  hyper-sensitive  artists.  to  In  on t h e  and t h o s e who s p o u t c l i c h e s .  suspected t h e i r  sensitive  less  familiar.  tropisms  tropisms are  surface of  in  the are  express  characters  in  plays  are  to  every-  the  which they  lan-  are.  the  s t a y on t h e  one's  secrete  a l s o how s h a l l o w and m e a n i n g l e s s o u r  day c o n v e r s a t i o n s So,  voiced  conversation  father. of  demonstrates  but  in  presents  an o c t o p u s who i s  and s u b c o n v e r s a t i o n a n d / o r guage n o t  play  discomfort  violence F\,  feel  of  F_ and F .  very  his  to  those  like the  by h i m s e l f ,  intimidating  H_^ i n Le  silence,  the  others,  agitation,  exclaim  who express  Sarraute, author, may  but  ulti-  who  are  he awakens  towards  fin.  Je  never  Silence  the  a  end o f  uncomfortable.  F : . . . O h ! j ' a i e n v i e de p a r t i r , a l a m en a l l e r . L ' a n g o i s s e me g a g n e . . . F „ : Une s e n s a t i o n . . . m o i a u s s i . . .  mur-  prefer  T h o s e who who,  F o r example,  the  ground w i t h  are  resemble  who,  to  How-  voudrais  84  : J e me s e n t i r a i s p l u s e n s e c u r i t e , m o i n s . a b a n d o n n e e , meme s u r u n e l i e d e s e r t e . . . (Le S i l e n c e , p . 7 2 ) Another tive  characters  swirl the to  example  beneath  others steer  who  Isma  shows  Lui.and  are conscious  Elle,  away  i sonly  t o remain from  hyper-sensi-  t e l l i n g  imitation,  that  conversation.  on t h e surface,  cliches,  a sterile  the  o f the undercurrents  the platitudes of ordinary  prefer  them  versation  from  Whereas  L u iand E l l e t r y  them  that  t h e 'copy  their  o f a  con-  copy'.  Lui: . . . V o u s n e s e n t e z p a s comme g a f a i s a i t d e m o d e , t o u t g a , h e i n , t o u t a 1'heure? Ca f a i s a i t c o p i e de c o p i e , vous ne t r o u v e z pas? H : Copie de c o p i e ? E l l e : O u i ,ce q u ' i l veut d i r e , c'est que t o u t a 1'heure, quand nous p a r l i o n s , ga l u i f a i s a i t l'effet d ' e t r e de 1 ' i m i t a t i o n . . . c ' e s t g a , n'est-ce pas?... 1  (Isma,p,15)  These  sensitive characters,  Whereas the  H_^ i n L e S i l e n c e  others,  that  they  It  must  seems  unicate three  L u iand E l l e discard  t o me,  her ideas,  radio  plays.  she,  t o o ,removes  beau  and E l l e  exhibit  meaningful obscure,  become ation come  i n Isma  used  abstract  falters, less  more  involvement plays,  real,  with  they  because  f i r s t  C'est  characters  who  a r e engaged i n anything situation  t h e reader  cannot  And as t h e a c t o f  the people  so the reader  comm-  abstract,  others.  The dramatic  i n the creative process.  and less  a n d more  i n communicating  other.  sterile,  indeed  new.  and i n her  present  Although  and s t e r i l e ,  o r becomes  does  t o  the artist,  something  i n her novels  do n o t s u c c e e d  o r p o s i t i v e t o each  involved  Sarraute  B u t , as she becomes from  as does  and create  therefore,- that  herself  potential.  i n transmitting h i sideas  ideas  her theories  creative  realize,  e s t l a , her latest  they  have  succeeds  no c r e a t i v e p o t e n t i a l .  conversation,  is  then,  i n the plays  o r listener  becomes  crebeless  85  and  less  able  the  characters  has  been  nor  plays,  the  'white way  and  the  dialogue  it  Elle  will  opment  her out,  any  of  perhaps  mechanized  way  of  l a on free be  i n Le  only  a  we  see  where  stifling rather  in  or  or  the  later  She  And  Instead  situation  in  totally  creation  and  idea  a  voiced, devel-  works a  point  communication.  who.have  lost  communicative  tactics,  i s but  state  in  a c t u a l l y wiped  beings  debilitating  but  that is  of  these  the  beau  Sarraute  painting  against  an  iden-  C'est  of  these  way  can  reaches and  to  offers  Sarraute's  phenomenon are  aversion  doubt  i f an  a  from  obsession  Indeed, to  real-  situation,  even one.  that  early  arise  plays,  seems  process  the  reader  abstract.  are  true  Isma,  unrealistic  another  ideas  of  or  they  ordinary,  that  in  the  an  is  someone's  which  But,  This  an  as  process  creative It  So,  reader as  someone's  by  grotesque  and  the  reactions  note.  forever  consciences,  protesting  with  The  subject  Silence,  ideas.  is stifled. play  the  Mensonge,  tragic  creative  other.  engaged  present  of  the  them.  characters  each  impossibly  flow  the  c e r t a i n words,  destroyed  abilities  not  himself.  i s almost  with  with  situation  l a not  as  with  communication.  tropistic  pronounce  create  radio  this  creative  as  thought,  thereby  the  ciphers  However,  i n Le  thought  last  are  lies'  est  only  whereby  depth  as  est  is  any  sympathize  participate in  silence,  thus  Elle  there  to  dramatic  and  ends  neither  or  of  involved  i t be  people  authentic tify  feel  to  lack  situation.  whether  prolonged  with  the  protagonists  dramatic  with  reduced  by  who  communicate  Sarraute's  a  are  cannot  voices  istic  identify  stifled  audience simply  to  of  But  rather both  their  Sarraute's human i n -  86  t e r c o m m u n i c a t i o n , a s t a t e i n d u c e d by man's l a z i n e s s , w e a k n e s s of s p i r i t  and i m p r e c i s i o n  of language; t h a t i s , a g a i n s t  mism. I t i s a r a t h e r n i h i l i s t i c spirit  r e a c t i o n of a unique,  that c l e a r l y belongs to N a t h a l i e  hand, i t i s , p e r h a p s , h o p e f u l force w i l l  renew i t s e l f  creative  On t h e  other  and p r o b a b l e t h a t h e r c r e a t i v e  and o n c e a g a i n  more p o s i t i v e and s u g g e s t i v e  Sarraute.  confor-  be i n s p i r e d t o  works i n the f u t u r e .  create  87 B I B L I O G R A P H Y  .WORKS BY NATHALIE SARRAUTE. (Works s t u d i e d o r r e f e r r e d t o i n t h e t h e s i s ) , N O V E L S : Tropismes. Portrait  Le  d'un  P a r i s : D e n o e l , 1939. Ed. de M i n u i t , 1957. inconnu. P r e f a c e de J e a n - P a u l S a r t r e , P a r i s : M a r i n , 1948. G a l l i m a r d , 1956.  Planetarium. P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1959.  Les  F r u i t s d'or. Paris:  Entre  la  G a l l i m a r d , 1963,  v i e et l a mort. P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1968,  Vous l e s entendez? P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1972,  P L A Y S: Le  Silence. P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1967. ( F i r s t b r o a d c a s t , i n German t r a n s l A p r i l 1 s t , 1964).  Le M e n s o n g e .  P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1967. ( F i r s t b r o a d c a s t : M a r c h 2, 1 9 6 6 ) ( B o t h p l a y s f i r s t p r o d u c e d on s t a g D i r . by J e a n - L o u i s B a r r a u l t . T h e a t r e de F r a n c e - P e t i t Odeon , . P a r i s , 14 J a n v i e r 1 9 6 7 ) ,  88 Isma, o u Ce q u i s ! a p p e l l e r i e n . P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1970. ( F i r s t staged:^ Espace C a r d i n , P a r i s , Febr. 1973). C'est  Elle  beau.  est  :  P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1973. ( F i r s t staged: T h e a t r e d'Orsay, P a r i s , Oct. 1975).  la. P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1978. 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