Posts tagged James Joyce

Characters, Nathalie Sarraute maintained, are props. They exist. They react to external stimuli like "sunflowers twisting toward a light source," and they "force us to recognize people from the inside." She came after "the investigative methods of Dostoyevsky," after Kafka (his "legitimate heir"), and after Proust's limitless "mental universe." She came after Woolf's and Joyce's interior monologues, their privileging of interior subjectivity over objective external "reality." She absorbed these influences and developed a different kind of stream-of-consciousness. Let's call it: streams-of-subconsciousness? Streams, plural, for her singular narrators "made up of infinite facets." And subconsciousness, because they describe gut feelings, the indescribable emotions that come and go too quickly, fleetingly, elusively. So she made new the modernists' new . . . and the Nouveau Roman was born.