Definitions

Nathalie

Nathalie

[nat-l-ee; Fr. na-ta-lee]
Sarraute, Nathalie, 1900-1999, French novelist, b. Ivanovo, Russia, as Natasha Tcherniak; studied at the Sorbonne and Oxford. A lawyer, she joined (1925) a Paris firm. She began writing in the early 1930s. Stark and revolutionary in technique, Sarraute's nouveaux romans [new novels] Tropismes (1939, tr. 1967) and Portrait d'un inconnu (1949, tr. 1958) were brought to public attention by Jean-Paul Sartre. Sometimes termed "antinovels," they are stripped of the traditional elements of plot, characterization, and chronology and instead focus upon psychological preoccupations, giving subconscious impulses surrealistic and analytic treatment. Her later novels, Martereau (1953), Le Planétarium (1959, tr. 1960), Do You Hear Them? (1972, tr. 1973), and Here (1995, tr. 1997), show some compromise with traditional form. Sarraute's essays on the novel were published in Age of Suspicion (1956, tr. 1963).

See her autobiography, Childhood (1973, tr. 1984).

orig. Nathalie Ilyanova Tcherniak

(born July 18, 1900, Ivanova, Russia—died Oct. 19, 1999, Paris, France) French novelist and essayist. She practiced law until circa 1940, when she became a full-time writer. Tropismes (1939), a collection of sketches, introduced her idea of tropisms, the “things that are not said and the movements that cross our consciousness very rapidly.” An early practitioner and leading theorist of the nouveau roman (“new novel”), the French antinovel, she discarded conventions of plot, chronology, characterization, and point of view. Her novels—including Portrait of a Man Unknown (1948), Martereau (1953), Le planétarium (1959), and Here (1997)—and her plays focus on the unspoken “subconversations” in human interactions.

Learn more about Sarraute, Nathalie with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Nathalie Ilyanova Tcherniak

(born July 18, 1900, Ivanova, Russia—died Oct. 19, 1999, Paris, France) French novelist and essayist. She practiced law until circa 1940, when she became a full-time writer. Tropismes (1939), a collection of sketches, introduced her idea of tropisms, the “things that are not said and the movements that cross our consciousness very rapidly.” An early practitioner and leading theorist of the nouveau roman (“new novel”), the French antinovel, she discarded conventions of plot, chronology, characterization, and point of view. Her novels—including Portrait of a Man Unknown (1948), Martereau (1953), Le planétarium (1959), and Here (1997)—and her plays focus on the unspoken “subconversations” in human interactions.

Learn more about Sarraute, Nathalie with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Nathalie... is a 2004 French movie directed by Anne Fontaine, and starring Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Béart, and Gérard Depardieu. It is distributed by Koch-Lorber Films.

The main character, Catherine (Fanny Ardant) discovers that her husband (Gérard Depardieu) is cheating on her. She decides to pay a Parisian prostitute (Emmanuelle Béart) to have an affair with her husband, and report back to her.

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