THE WEAKLING and THE ENEMY by Francois Mauriac


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The by now well traversed terrain of the duality of flesh and spirit, to which the Catholic conscience lends a compassionate interpretation and ultimate affirmation, is again the substance of two short novels. The Weakling tells of Paula, who had married an idiot for the ""golden vanity"" of a title, borne a child whose retardation promises a further penalty for her pride. It is however, Robert Bordas, a schoolteacher, who is the weakling, for when he alone can give the child a certain confidence and hope --he rejects the child (and indirectly, his mother) and in so doing drives the boy to his death. The Enemy tells of Fabien Dezameries, who escapes the strict, provincial piety of his mother to succumb to the attractions of her friend, a very worldly woman. But his desire is always tempered by disgust, and Fabien is more and more moved by the innocence of a young girl, until he leaves his mistress, and after a racking illness, is released....Again the close drama, impeccably phrased, of fevered torment and elation, for a special audience.

Pub Date: March 17th, 1952
ISBN: 0374526494
Publisher: Pellegrini & Cudahy