Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tropismes - Nathalie Sarraute

A tropism (I love Wikipedia!) is "a growth or turning movement... in response to an environmental stimulus". The motif of tropisms in this short story collection may not be immediately perceptible when reading - but then, truth be told, almost nothing is!

All the elements I considered as the upside to Lucia Berlin's short stories - analogy of narrator, point of view and focalization - are conspicuously absent here. 
In Sarraute's 29 short sketches, everything is implicit and differing from one piece to another. The point of view is always subjective but then as the narrator keeps changing, these texts demand constant focus and contemplation.

It is fortunate, therefore, that :
1. The narratives are very short. All 29 amount to less than 100 pages in all.
2. Sarraute's writing is so unbelievably adroit. She is of the same literary family as Woolf and Joyce, and that is a very, very restricted family. 
 
Beautiful!


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