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Armand Navi, as he describes himself, is the classical French hero- he is ""tall, slender, pale, distinguished, with sensitive gestures and fiery eyes"". He also assumes a classical stance he is melancholy, or as his wife Gilberte sometimes claims, glum. More than that, he seems to be something of a compulsive neurotic- cigarette butts on the street offend him and he picks them up. From the time when the book opens here, however, Armand has taken to brooding about his wife's indifference (not active dislike) toward the Jews; with more and more fanciful ruses, he attempts to corroborate this suspicion which leads to interchanges of mutual torment and evasion, implemented by her with another man, his with a young girl. Finally this obsessive identification with the Jews and their martyrdom prompts the self-destructive gesture with which the book closes.... This is presumably a first novel, and can, loosely speaking, be affiliated with the growing body of etc. It is just as self-conscious, almost as ingrown, and white superficially it is far more accessible (there are none of the complicated devices of style or technique), the end result is roughly the same. It trifles with experience and boys with the reader.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1962
Publisher: Pantheon