The prolific man of letters takes a slightly amused stance in writing of a prolific man of letters, Guillaume Fontane, cast, against his will, and everyone's better judgment, as an again . Fontane, for all his high talk of what matters to him: the pleasure of thinking, friendship springing from mutual esteem, dawdling in a library, is pretty much the dupe of designing women. Guillaume has declined a lecture invitation in South America to remain with his wife, Pauline, estranged from him because of his mild affair with a young painter. She, assuming that South America would afford little amorous opportunity for her husband, insists that he accept the tour. In Lima he meets and is enchanted by a young actress, an ardent admirer of Fontane and his works. And word of the carrying-on inevitably reaches Pauline. After Fontane returns to France, Pauline, who has set up an alliance by letter by letter with Lolita arranges her visit to France and provides the finishing touches to the adventure from which Guillaume was only too willing to escape. Pauline, the professional literary hostess, and the well-intentioned Fontane have always been perfect complements; now they can agree on it. M. Maurois writes with a finish and fin and with some tongue-in-cheek, of a climate of worldliness. The result:- for American readers- a surfeit of sophistication.