Chichi eroticism and trendy indirection dominate, so to speak, these 13 elliptical contes cruels about sexual obsession and submission, in which thinly drawn men and women experience the flowering of their animal natures and discover the inability of physical fulfillment to chase away their essential anomie and ennui. Sensuous fetishistic imagery abounds--tongues and toes are prominent--as self-styled connoisseurs of the body find that the body's earthbound functional nature disallows total erotic liberation. This is not news. Only in the disturbing ""Pauline Buisson"" does Giraudon (author of the previously translated Pallaksch, Pallaksch, not reviewed) deign to create a character whose state of heightened sexual crisis feels anchored in recognizable human experience. One might say that this author exhibits perfect tonal control over her bizarre materials. One might also ask: Does it matter?