THE GOLDEN FRUITS by Nathalie Sarraute


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A new novel about a new novel and its rites of initiation into the self-hallowed circles of the French literati. Recently published, The Golden Fruits must qualify for the waves of adulation, blind devotion and occasional heretical dissent that constitute the book-worship of a self-styled literary in-group. Not that the novel is the protagonist struggling to assert its worth in this high-spun story--it hasn't the chance, as the literary vultures make it their own symbolic property, coveting the office of leading critic, whose judgment has only to be well-received by the group to be considered right and ""brilliant"". As the idol of the moment, the book rises and falls in the fluid esteem of its believers as, and all ""humble nostalgics"" must be crushed, perhaps just another novel, another faulty imitation of things past. The social struggle to be the one who really understands the ""imponderables, iridescences, and irisations"" in the novel becomes a satiric comment on literary values. In the end only one loner stands by the fallen God, claiming a resurrection in time and faddism. Mme. Sarraute, member of the French avant-garde, has created a brilliant contrapuntal exercise in conversation, judgment, and social uncertainty-- and perhaps a slice at ""Littrachure"" itself. She has now to stand for the same critical nonsense she has so well exposed. Well translated.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1963
Publisher: Braziller