Françoise Sagan Long Fiction Analysis
It is the task of a novelist to create a world that appears to be very close to life, so close that it resonates within the reader’s own imagination. In fact, fictional worlds are much more consistent and formally structured than random lives. It is only the art of the novelist that creates the illusion of worlds resembling reality. By imposing a structure—a consistent artistic vision—on a realm of whatever scale he or she chooses, the novelist is able to reveal the significance (or insignificance) and the coherence (or absurdity) of human experience.
The world examined and transformed in the novels of Françoise Sagan has been so much of a piece that critics have been known to refer to it as “Saganland.” It is a place where the idle rich amuse and torment themselves with the pleasures of love, dashing away in their sports cars when they need to feel the fresh wind in their hair. The backdrop for their existence is the Riviera, Paris, New York, or Hollywood. The mood is one of bored cynicism, sophisticated disillusionment. It is an essentially frivolous and trivial world that has caused many literary critics to begrudge Sagan serious consideration in spite of the classical elegance of her writing style.
Given the tendency of critics in the 1970’s to greet each new Sagan novel with condescension, the success of her first novel, Bonjour Tristesse, turned out to be a decidedly mixed...
(The entire section is 3148 words.)
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