THE SELF AND LANGUAGE: AUTHENTICITY AND CONVENTION
Tu ne t'aimes pas, written immediately after Enfance and published in 1989, shares with it the structure of a fragmented authorial voice engaged in internal dialogue. The authorial status of the dialoguing self is less explicit than in Enfance where the autobiographical project emphasized the identity of narrated, narrating, and writing selves; none the less, Sarraute's conversations with Simone Benmussa while Tu ne t'aimes pas was being written show her affinity to its 'nous' in terms of both the general lack of a unitary sense of self, and the particular experiences that plurality of voices describes, such as the death of its partner (see TTP122; Sarraute 1987a:151-6). With the absence of the unifying impetus inherent in more openly autobiographical writing (and which defeated, in Enfance, the attempt to undo it through a dialogic structure), comes a much more radical disintegration of the authorial voice. Instead of a binary opposition between two perspectives which could be characterized in a relatively stable manner as respectively close to childhood sensations and alienated from them, and consequently reliable and unreliable, we get in Tu ne t'aimes pas a view of the mind as composed of innumerable voices, no one of which predominates in the text. The more rigorous dispersal of speaker-authority here than in Enfance leads to a more sustained use of direct discourse to represent the utterances of 'outsiders' too, a more enduring authorial refusal to subsume the words of others into its own determinedly multiple discourses.
The absence of a defined reader-figure in Tu ne t'aimes pas also distinguishes it from Enfance (and indeed from L'Usage de la parole which immediately preceded Enfance). Not assigning the reader a clear and limiting role within the text would appear to grant him more freedom, to permit a more unconditioned response to what he reads and a more active role in the establishment of meaning than Enfance finally allowed. On the other hand, the absence of the reader from the text could simply mean that he has ceased to matter, that his