The Third Body ($24.95; Aug.; 168 pp.; 0-8101-1687-1). This early (1970) concoction by the French feminist critic and (anti-?) novelist examines its narrator’s relationship with her lover—a relationship that in itself assumes in her busy mind its own identity. The resulting “third body” is composed of (and discomposed by) all she knows and fantasizes about herself, him, and them. The resulting meditation, though not without wit and even infrequent playfulness, is utterly devoid of narrative tension (though, to be fair, “she” does at one point swallow a fly). The luckless fourth body (the reader’s) will probably not remain awake long enough to partake of any subsequent signs of life (there ain’t many).