Philippe Malzieu

Philippe Malzieu is not my true name. Malzieu is our native village, my mother and me. It is registered on the memorial Yad Vashem. The inhabitants organized themselves to protect the Jews people against the Nazis. My grandfather was the mayor.
I always read a lot, in particular the German, US and Japanese and french literature. I have a true passion for books. For me, a library is always splendid. Pothos is my first novel, largely autobiographical. 50 years is the age of the assessments. it enabled me to settle  ...See more >

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"A passionate story that’s pulled in too many directions."

Kirkus Reviews


Pub Date:
ISBN: 979-1093525037
Page count: 58pp

A medical student navigates a dramatic love affair and a medical internship in this experimental novella.

This slim tale opens with the nameless narrator going to meet his lover, Juliette, in a cafe. It turns out that a man named Mark, also known as “butcher boy,” has harmed Juliette. A tense conversation follows, alluding to an S&M club, a trial and the characters’ own doomed love affair. The narrator goes on to recount how he met Juliette: While he was interning at a hospital, Juliette came in for an abortion; he drove her home and then slept with her. At his current internship in the psychiatric ward, he describes the patients there and their various forms of madness. An odd evening at the hospital ensues, including a demented conversation with a delusional banker, a sexually charged exchange with a female patient, and a long, intellectual discussion about what the narrator has for dinner: a pot-a-feu, or French beef stew. The narrator then tells of his affair with Juliette: After whisking her away to Rome, she disappears, and he later finds her with her lover, Mark. One night, the narrator insults Mark and goes off to find his friends and his girlfriend, Marianne, but he eventually ends up with Juliette again. After a brief return to the present-day psych ward, the scene shifts to the narrator driving to the S&M club, where he sees Mark exit, carrying Juliette in his arms. The two men fight, and the narrator rescues Juliette, but she’s angry that he intervened. He takes her away in a car, which leads to their last romantic encounter. The novel has a compelling premise: a med student on a psych ward and his tumultuous romantic life. However, the ambitious setup falls flat due to confusing jumps in time and excessive tangential episodes. Too many characters crowd this short narrative, and the central drama doesn’t quite carry the story from beginning to end. The novel never clearly explains why the narrator is so drawn to Juliette, for example, or why he assumes that she’s in danger with Mark. There’s some poetic language, as when the narrator compares pale-skinned Juliette to a character in a story who drains her own blood. However, these occasions are lost in the story’s jumbled chronology.

A passionate story that’s pulled in too many directions.



Is the sexuality of the 50 years old men so peculiar for us to be interested in it ? The answer is yes, undoubtedly. At your 50’s, things do not work as when you were 20. The causes are physiological and it’s really difficult to escape from this. The main subject of complains are troubles to get an erection. Classically, he is carried away by desire but the erection is not sufficient for a satisfactory intercourse.? The only question to be asked is whether we can maintain a sexuality, if not equal at least as ardent as before, or not ? And the answer is also yes. We only need to adapt.

ISBN: 979-1093525143
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