The immediate frame of reference of this novel, the third in a series (only the second appeared hope) is the Ca de in Paris between the . In the French cli there was a map of this qua, and presumably in the case of the will be a prefatory cast of characters. Still these sig will and be enough; it is far more difficult reading than its predecess and even the most assid interested and patient reader. Once again in the of characters who speak and think- unidentified except by the nature of their private p (and some remain anonymous even at the close) the reader is required to make the between the thought and the character. Bertrand Car the of the earlier books reappears; so does Martin who has left him and their child with whom he maintains visitation privileges; there's a schoolboy and the he loves, an am, an , a woman, a policeman; and the mysterious Marquoise (the title is takes from a of Paul Valery's). Claude Ma, an explicator (The New as well as expon of this or anti-literature joins with , But or, etc., in attempting to reveal the inner life through just this kind of diffusion and dissociation. What it may well prove, far more than the ""literal exactitude"", which writer Carnejoux claims for this technique- is the reader's susceptibility to exasperation.