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the Complete Review
the complete review - autobiographical

     

Nulle part

by
Yasmina Reza


general information | review summaries | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Nulle part



Title: Nulle part
Author: Yasmina Reza
Genre: Autobiographical
Written: 2005
Length: 78 pages
Original in: French
Availability: Nulle part - France
Nulle part - Canada
Nirgendwo - Deutschland
  • French title: Nulle part
  • Nulle part has not yet been translated into English

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Our Assessment:

B+ : appealing but very small collection

See our review for fuller assessment.




Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Le Temps . 17/9/2005 Isabelle Martin


  From the Reviews:
  • "Ce sont des textes légers, cristallins, qui disent la douceur d'aimer mais qui dissèquent aussi, sans complaisance, d'autres sentiments: la proximité de la joie et du chagrin, l'impatience, les petits manquements quotidiens, la difficulté d'être." - Isabelle Martin, Le Temps

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       Nulle part is a collection of five pieces -- small scenes from lives, a bit of reflection. It's a small book -- probably with fewer words than some of Reza's plays -- and not meant to be a cohesive memory-account (though it's not really fragmentary either). If anything, it feels like an author trying to formulate scenes and thoughts for some future (autobiographical ?) project.
       The first pieces are mother-child variations, each beginning with a sentence describing the child walking, carrying a satchel. They are simple scenes of separation and ties, and it's a theme that runs throughout the book in different variations. "Oú est l'enfance ?" ('Where is childhood ?') Reza asks at one point, and that's one of the main issues she's wrestling with, both her own and of the children she is writing about (her own, presumably -- though it's unclear how autobiographical and/or fictional the pieces are).
       The final section, also called 'Nulle part', is the longest and most reflective. Reza begins it admitting she doesn't know any of the languages of her parents or ancestors, cutting her off from their (and her own) past in a way. Rather than through description of events and encounters, as in the earlier pieces, she is here more (self-)analytic, the piece more obviously and openly wrestling with the issues of memory and communication and literature and, especially, childhood that occupy her. She refers to some of her own work, and considers passages from other writers (Kertész Imre, Klaus Mann) that struck her.
       There are some nicely realised scenes, and some interesting reflections in Nulle part, but it feels a bit inadequate -- not too thin, but simply too small. Still, an appealing read.

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Links:

Nulle part: Reviews: Yasmina Reza: Other Books by Yasmina Reza under Review Other books of interest under review:
  • See the index of French literature at the complete review

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About the Author:

       French author Yasmina Reza, born in 1959, achieved her first great success with the play 'Art'. She has also written fiction and screenplays.

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