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Sternberg, Jacques

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1923-2006) Belgian author who published fiction until the end of the century, though sf made up a decreasingly portion of his work; he moved at the end of his life to the memoir form. A particularly idiosyncratic author with a keen sense of the absurd, he built from the early 1950s a unique body of work, often only tenuously linked to sf, often structured as Satires where everyday situations logically degenerate into darkly humorous nightmares, his first novel being Le délit ["The Offense"] (1954). La sortie est au fond de l'espace ["The Way Out is at the Bottom of Space"] (1956) is a black comedy set in space and featuring the last human survivors of a bacterial Holocaust; Toi, ma nuit (1956; trans Lowell Bair as Sexualis '95 1967) is a witty presentation of the dawn of a new age of sexual excess. Futurs sans avenir (coll 1971; cut trans Frank Zero as Future without Future 1974) is a representative selection; the title story, an astonishingly bleak Dystopia set at the end of the twentieth century, is typical in its progress from grey reality through surreal black wit down to the End of the World and time itself. Sternberg also wrote the script for Alain Resnais's only sf film, Je T'aime, Je T'aime (1968); it was published as Je t'aime, je t'aime: scénario et dialogues pour un film d'Alain Resnais ["I Love You, I Love You: Scenario and Dialogue for a Film by Alain Resnais"] (1969). Mai 86: roman ["May '86"] (1978) is a tale of planetary Pollution. As the century progressed, his work showed less and less attachment to genre devices, and he focused more and more on short fiction. [MJ/JC]

see also: Benelux; France; Perception.

Jacques Sternberg

born Antwerp, Belgium: 17 April 1923

died Paris: 11 October 2006

works (highly selected)



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