You Don't Love Yourself

Nathalie Sarraute, Author, Barbara Wright, Translator George Braziller $17.95 (233p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1254-5
This mistress of the ellipse and surviving pioneer of the nouveau roman ventures ever deeper into the human psyche. Here, a chorus of ``several `we's' '' faces another of ``several `you's' '' in a discursive antiphony on the effects of self-love--happiness, charisma, selfishness. This multifarious ``self'' babbles discontentedly like an aged couple, filled with ancient spites, old insecurities and oft-retold stories. Characteristically lacking in such distractions as names and, to a great extent, gender, the book's almost total subjugation of exterior context makes it less like The Golden Fruits than ``fools say'' sic or even The Use of Speech and, like these latter two, it deals with the way that numbers and words define, limit--and often cripple--the human psyche. While You Don't Love Yourself makes an interesting gloss to other Sarraute novels, too much self-interest--with or without self-love--tends to become tedious, rendering this book a lesser effort by a worthwhile writer. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
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