HERE • Nathalie Sarraute
George Braziller / 1st edition / 1997
Hardcover / 165 pages

The latest work by the distinguished French writer Nathalie Sarraute, Here recreates the frustration of attempting to recall a forgotten word. Just beyond the grasp of memory, the elusive name of a person, a tree, or of a well-known artist is pursued through the dialogues, repetitions, and silences of everyday speech. The struggle to remember brings out the many interpretations and misunderstandings caused by the simplest and most banal of phrases - a theme found throughout Sarraute's work. As in previous books, she explores the minute, almost imperceptible responses to spoken words and thoughts, describing them with a minimum of concrete or social context. Although highly abstract, Here is surprisingly sensual in its analogies: intimidating laughter from the ever-present, threatening crowd is frantically mopped up with a sponge and a bucket of disinfectant; the words of subdued politeness are like low-fat foods lacking in real nourishment; the suggestion of obscure menace is experienced as a whiff of cheap make-up.

︎ Condition note: Used. A used hardcover in Very Good+ condition. Small discoloration at front bottom right of dustjacket. Minimal shelfwear. Else Fine. Book comes wrapped in protective mylar.