Elegantly spare tale of cool romance, from the acclaimed French novelist of The War, The Lover, and Hiroshima Mon Amour...

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BLUE EYES, BLACK HAIR

Elegantly spare tale of cool romance, from the acclaimed French novelist of The War, The Lover, and Hiroshima Mon Amour fame. A maudlin and suicidal young man commissions a woman to accompany him to--but not sleep with him at--his home in a seaside resort town. The woman has the blue eyes and black hair of the title, but it's not her he's after: those features remind him of the male lover who has abandoned him. The man's isolation--""the sexual sadness that makes the eyes seem to have seen everything""--mystifies and fascinates her. And day by day, the two anonymous partners--they never exchange names, professions or backgrounds--engage in mutual, nonsexual inquiry. Eventually, the utilitarian relationship expands to engage deeper feelings that alternate between attraction and repulsion, trust and contempt. The conspicuous absence of sex (but not eros) creates a charged atmosphere expressed through combative intellectual entanglement and playacting. In the background, by way of contrast, men and women meet by a seaside rock, grouping in a seasonal rite of sexual adventure and inquiry. Duras' couple, at a Platonic remove from the sexual rites, inevitably suggest an alternative, more moody, and erotic form of relationship; it's sadly true that the author's heroine considers her man a lover because he ""wants nothing."" Trim, obsessively stylized anti-romance of particular interest to Duras fans, though not likely to broaden her American readership.

Pub Date: March 8, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988