The Planetarium by Nathalie Sarraute / ISBN 9781628973891 / 236-page paperback from Dalkey Archive
A young writer has his heart set on his aunt's large apartment. With this seemingly simple conceit, the characters of The Planetarium are set in orbit and a galaxy of argument, resentment, and bitterness erupts. Telling the story from various points of view, Sarraute focuses below the surface, on the emotional lives of the characters in a way that surpasses even Virginia Woolf. Always deeply engaging, The Planetarium reveals the deep disparity between the way we see ourselves and the way others see us.
"It fulfills ideally the dream of Flaubert and Mallarmé, dreamed again by their Irish and Czech admirers, Joyce and Kafka, of a novel made out of nothing and in which events are next to nothing."―New York Times
"The best thing about Nathalie Sarraute is her stumbling, groping style, with its honesty and numerous misgivings, a style that approaches the object with reverent precautions, withdraws from it suddenly out of a sort of modesty, or through timidity before its complexity, then, when all is said and done, suddenly presents us with the drooling monster, almost without having touched it, through the magic of an image."―Jean-Paul Sartre
"The Planetarium is a wonderfully believable account of a short, sharp struggle between an exploitative young man with literary ambitions nad his rich, domineering relatives.."―New Yorker