A of physical passion charts a few days, or rather nights, in the life of Mario, a playwright, as on successive evenings he renews an affair with Laure, now forty and even more insistent; spends the next night with the Negress Mafalda after abandoning English, ""silent and soothing""; and the next with Cora, an aging actress. Finally faced with a whole week away from Paris with Laure, he defaults at the station and runs away only from her but from himself: the ""target of questionable passions. The object of loves. The victim of new caresses."" Accordingly, he sends a telegram to his wife... There is something of the concentrated intensity of the earlier The Man of Blood but it is here devoted to the urgency of the flesh, obsessional and insatiable; to a view of love which is never more than the ""peace of the body""; and to the illusory nature of that peace as it ends disgust and despotism. For some, it may have a decadent attraction.