These intelligently chosen and admirably translated essays by the contemporary French novelist and playwright serve to give us quite a complete picture of this man and his philosophy. A soldier, a bull-fighter, an athlete as well as a brilliant writer, he is best known abroad for his novels and plays. But according to Peter Quennell, who has written an illuminating preface, his scope is wider still. Who is this mysterious master of the French language who both fascinates and repels? Quennell sums him up as ""...'a man of the Renaissance'; and certainly he shows little likeness to the average 20th century artist, being a lapsed Catholic, who cannot forget his faith; an artist who has ridiculed the nobility without losing his sense of inherited privilege; a solitary who has never ceased to prize the companionship of his fellow human beings... he may recall the Renaissance ...he also suggests those military-religious organizations of the Middle Ages... "" These essays compass periods of de Montherlant's life from adolescence to his present age of sixty and reveal his philosophy of opposites. The mixture is unusual and whets the appetite for more. Recommended.