Sternberg, Jacques 1923–

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Sternberg, Jacques 1923–

PERSONAL: Born 1923, in Belgium.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, La Renaissance du Livre, Mons Expo, Avenue Thomas Edison, n°2, 7000 Mons, Belgium.

CAREER: Writer.


Le délit, Librairie Plon (Paris, France), 1954.

La sortie est au fond de l'espace: roman, (title means "The Way Out Is at the Bottom of Space"), Denoël (Paris, France), 1956.

Entre deux mondes incertains (stories; title means"Between Two Uncertain Worlds"), Denoël (Paris, France), 1957, reprinted, 1985.

L'employé: roman (novel), Les Editions de Minuit (Paris, France), 1958, reprinted, Editions Labor (Brussels, Belgium), 1989.

L'Architect, E. Losfeld (Paris, France), 1960.

Manuel du parfait petit secretaire commercial (fiction), illustrations by Soro, E. Losfeld (Paris, France), 1960.

La géometrie dans l'impossible (science fiction; title means "Impossible Geometrie"), Le Terrain Vague (Paris, France), 1960.

Un Siècle d'humour français, Les Productions de Paris (Paris, France), 1961.

Un jour ouvrable, E. Losfeld (Paris, France), 1961, reprinted, Nouvelles Editions Oswald (Paris, France), 1981.

La banlieue: roman (novel), Julliard (Paris, France), 1961, reprinted, Bibliothèque Marabout (Verviers, Belgium), 1976.

Un Siècle d'humour anglo-américan, Les Productions de Paris (Paris, France), 1962.

(Editor, with Jean Morin) Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, L'Ambassade du Livre (Paris, France),1962.

(Adaptor) Denis Diderot, Jacques le fataliste et son maître, Petits-Fils de L. Danel (Loos-lez-Lille, France), 1963.

Les Chefs d'oeuvre du sourire, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1964.

(With Alex Grall) Les Chefs d'oeuvre de l'érotisme, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1964.

Toi, ma nuit, Editions Le Terrain Vague (Paris, France), 1965, translated as Sexualis '95, Berkley (New York, NY), 1967.

Les Chefs d'oeuvre de l'épouvante, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1965.

Les Chefs d'oeuvre du crime, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1965.

(With Maurice Toesca and Alex Grall) Les Chefs d'oeuvre de l'amour sensual, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1966.

(With Jacques Bergier and Alex Grall) Les Chefs d'oeuvre du rire, Éditions Planète (Paris, France),1966.

Les Chefs d'oeuvre de la bande dessinée, rassemblés et présentés, Éditions Planète (Paris, France),1967.

Les Chefs d'oeuvre du fantastique, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1967.

Les Chefs d'oeuvre de notre enfance, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1968.

C'est la guerre, Monsieur Gruber, pièce en un acte, Le Terrain Vague (Paris, France), 1968.

Les Chefs d'oeuvre du dessin d'humour, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1968.

(With Alain Resnais) Je t'aime, je t'aime (screenplay; title means "I Love You, I Love You"), Parc Film-Mag Bodard/Fox Europa, 1968, published as Je t'aime, je t'aime: scénario et dialogues pour un fil d'Alain Resnais, E. Losfeld (Paris, France), 1969.

Attention, planète habitée (science fiction; title means "Beware, Inhabited Planet"), E. Losfeld (Paris, France), 1969.

Les Chefs d'oeuvre de la science-fiction, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1970.

Univers zéro (science fiction), Gerard (Verviers, France), 1970.

(With Tristan Maya) Les Chefs d'oeuvre de l'humour noir, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1970.

Les charmes de la publicité, Denoël (Paris, France), 1971.

Chroniques de "France-soir" (nonfiction), E. Losfeld (Paris, France), 1971.

Un siècle de pin up, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1971.

Lettre aux gens malheureux et qui ont bien raison de l'être, E. Losfeld (Paris, France), 1972.

Futurs sans avenir: nouvelles (story collection), R. Laffont (Paris, France), 1971; translated as Future without Future, Seabury Press (New York, NY), 1973.

Le tour du monde en 300 gravures, Éditions Planète (Paris, France), 1972.

Kitsch (published in French as "Les Chefs d'oeuvre du kitsch"), edited by Mariana Henderson, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1972.

Dictionnaire du mépris, Calmann-Levy (Paris, France), 1973.

A la dérive en dérvieur, Julliard (Paris, France), 1974.

Contes glacés (fiction; title means "Icy Tales"), Gerard (Verviers, Belgium), 1974, reprinted, Labor (Brussels, Belgium), 1998.

(With Henri Deuill) Un Siècle de dessins contestataires, Denoël (Paris, France), 1974.

Lettre ouverte aux Terriens, A. Michel (Paris, France), 1974.

(Compiler, with Pierre Chapelot) Pin Up (drawings), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1974.

Sophie, la mer et la nuit: roman (novel; title means "Sophie, the Sea, the Night"), A. Michel (Paris, France), 1976.

Mémoires provisoires: ou, Comment rater tout ce que l'on réussit, Retz (Paris, France), 1977.

Le navigateur: roman (novel; title means "The Navigator"), A. Michel (Paris, France), 1977.

Vivre en survivant: demission, demerde, dérive, Tchou (Paris, France), 1977.

Mai 86: roman, (novel), A. Michel (Paris, France),1978.

Topor, Seghers (Paris, France), 1978.

Agathe et Béatrice, Claire et Dorothée: roman, A. Michel (Paris, France), 1979.

Rever la mer: graveurs et illustrateurs du XIXe siècle, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1979.

Théâtre, C. Bourgois (Paris, France), 1979.

Suite pour Eveline sweet Evelin: roman (novel), A. Michel (Paris, France), 1980.

Ports en eaux-fortes: les ports du monde vus par les graveurs au 19e siècle, Editions Maritimes and d'outre-mer (Paris, France), 1980.

L'anonyme: roman, A. Michel (Paris, France), 1982.

Dictionnaire des idees revues, Denoël (Paris, France),1985.

Les variations Sternberg: pour clavier de machine a ecrire sur deux themes de lettres commerciales, Pre aux Clercs (Paris, France), 1985.

Les pensées, preface by Bernard Tapie, Cherche midi (Paris, France), 1986.

188 contes à régler, illustrations by Roland Topor, Denoël (Paris, France), 1988.

Le shlemihl (novel), Julliard (Paris, France), 1989.

Histoires à dormir sans vous, Denoël (Paris, France), 1990.

Histoires à mourir de vous, Denoël (Paris, France), 1991.

Contes griffus, Denoël (Paris, France), 1993.

Dieu, moi et les autres: contes, Denoël (Paris, France), 1995.

Si loin de nulle part, Les Belles Lettres (Paris, France), 1998.

Le Coeur froid: roman (novel), C. Bourgois (Paris, France), 1972, reprinted, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2000.

Profession, mortel: fragments d'autobiographie, Belles lettres (Paris, France), 2000.

Oeuvres choisies: Fin de siècle, Un jour ouvrable, La banlieue, Le Délit (selected writings), Renaissance du livre (Tournai, Belgium), 2001.

Contributor of introductions or prefaces to books, including Cami, R. Julliard (Paris, France), 1964; La moisson rouge, by Dashiell Hammett, Culture, Arts, Loisirs (Paris, France), 1967; La Vie secrète de Walter Mitty, by James Thurber, Julliard (Paris, France), 1981; and Une visite inopportune, C. Bourgois (Paris, France, 1999); books published in several foreign languages, including English, Czech, German, and Japanese.

SIDELIGHTS: Several of French author Jacques Sternberg's writings, both nonfiction and speculative fiction, have been published in English translation, including Sexualis '95, Kitsch, Pin Up, and Future without Future.

Kitsch is the author's look at bad taste and schmaltz in the world as a part of popular culture seen in many places, including newspapers and advertisements. Calling the book "enjoyable" in a review in the Library Journal, Pat Goodfellow also noted that the author provides a "fascinating portrait of popular culture at is most brash and naïve."

Future without Future is a collection of seven science fiction stories and two novellas, including stories about a couple who do not realize they are living at the end of the world in 1999, a clerk who communicates with aliens, a vacation group lost in space, and an alien takeover of the Earth. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted, "The … short pieces are all skillful." Lynn Fell, writing in the Librry Journal, called the collection "grim glimpses of the future" and noted the author's "polished language and philosophical tone." Another reviewer writing for Booklist commented on Sternberg's "meditative style."

Mai 86: roman tells the story of a future world in which pollution has made the oceans a deadly place to swim and food is contaminated. The story, as told by the narrator, involves a people who try to survive by living apart from the masses, and who eventually revolt against an industrial society, which means the end of modern life with its polluting automobiles and factories. "The novel has … some power in so far as it extrapolates from trends present in contemporary industrial society and shows, often comically, what a nightmare could ensure from the total pollution of the globe," wrote Allen Thiher in the French Review.

Sternberg tells the story of a failure named Jacques in the novel Le shlemihl, taken from a Yiddish word for someone who does everything wrong. Starting with overbearing and overly critical parents, Jacques Stern-berg, goes on to develop a full-blown neurosis that involves changing his name to Nathan so he doesn't sound so Jewish and a total self-absorption as a writer who is obsessed with fame. The novel covers the fictional Sternberg's life from birth to death. "Readers who like themes of a writer discovering his vocation will certainly enjoy Le shlemihl," wrote Wendy Green-berg in the French Review. "If word play and Jewish humor are styles one appreciates, then Sternberg is a writer to read."

Sternberg also cowrote the screenplay for the 1968 film Je t'aime, je t'aime, a story about a man who travels via a time machine that can take him to the past for only one-minute intervals. Through the various "minutes" that the man spends in the past, the audience learns of the man's lover, who he thinks he may have murdered. "Although obsessed with time, memory, the past, the physical material of … [the film] is its love story and the daily lives of the couple involved in it," wrote Roger Greenspun in the New York Times.



Clute, John, and Peter Nichols, editors, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993.


Booklist, June 1, 1974, review of Future without Future, p. 1082.

Choice, September, 1974, review of Future without Future, pp. 952-953.

French Review, May, 1979, Allen Thiher, review of Mai 86: roman, p. 954; February, 1991, Wendy Greenberg, review of Le shlemihl, p. 546.

Library Journal, July, 1973, Pat Goodfellow, review of Kitsch, p. 2075; February 1, 1974, Lynn Fell, review of Future without Future, p. 384.

New York Times, September 15, 1970, Roger Greenspun, review of Je t'aime, je t'aime.

Publishers Weekly, December 10, 1973, review of Future without Future, p. 31.