Michel Butor, Claude Ollier, Robert Pinget, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, Claude Simon. The label “Nouveau Roman” has frequently been attributed to these authors and their texts despite the reticence of many of them to embrace it. In public, the “Nouveau Roman” has often featured clashes among its members in the form of theoretical debates and personal rivalries. Yet the correspondence among several of these authors paints another picture, one in which mutual admiration abounds and personal friendships flourish. The discovery of this often stark contrast between public and private discourse has led two scholars to embark on a singular project.
Carrie Landfried, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, and Olivier Wagner, archivist and curator of contemporary collections at the Département des Manuscrits of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, will present some of their findings and discuss the challenges of publishing these polyphonic exchanges. They are the co-editors of the annotated volume of correspondance Lettres d'Amérique de Nathalie Sarraute (Gallimard, 2017).