April 16, 1957

SAGAN AND THE USSR: Paris, 11 – The fame of the young French writer Francoise Sagan has spread even across the Iron Curtain. Of course, her books have not been translated into Russian nor are the originals allowed to be sold in the Soviet Union, but Russian critics have already begun to comment on them. In fact, in the last issue of Moscow’s weekly Literary Gazette, a long article is devoted to Sagan titled »What is the secret of Francoise Sagan’s success?» Here is an excerpt: «It is clear that to a person with a Soviet mentality, ‘A Certain Smile’ raises no political or social issues, nor does it praise the ideal of a good Communist. However, the emptiness of the work is not the sole privilege of Francoise Sagan but is a general trend throughout all modern bourgeois culture, beginning with the novels of Proust and continuing in the schools of abstract art and surrealist poetry. The secret of Sagan’s success lies in the fact that she has managed to exploit perfectly the commercial aspect of this trend. The art that attempts to exploit this ’emptiness’ attracts all snobs. For it to be a commercial proposition, however, she uses excellent French and a few juicy details. Yet neither scholars nor young people enjoy this kind of literature.»

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