THE INSPECTOR OF RUINS by Elsa Triolet

THE INSPECTOR OF RUINS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The first person testimony of Antonin Blond takes on the lacklustre listlessness of its narrator who returns to Paris after the war with no ties (he had lost his wife, his family and his home) and no incentive. Antonin is stale, irritable, diffident; his affair with a young girl is brought to an unwelcome close by her pregnancy; his subsequent seduction of Aline, whose loyalties as well as affections can be bought, is curtailed by her previous commitments; and sheer hunger forces him to take a job in a chemist's shop. A providential offer of the post of inspector (looter) of ruins in Germany takes him to Berlin, but his inactivity there ends this commission and returns him to Paris and an easy death when he is knocked down by a taxi.... A semi-satiric perspective of non-existentialism, this has a faithful eye and ear for the deadened tonelessness of lives such as this, a doubtful recommendation for the general reader. Elsa Triolet is the wife of Louis Aragon and may be rembered for A Fine of 200 Francs(1947).

Pub Date: April 20th, 1953
Publisher: Roy