Djian (Unforgivable, 2010, etc.) provides further insights into what randy French academics are up to when they’re not deconstructing everything.
Marc has long since accommodated himself to the fact that he’s a mediocre writer. Since those who can’t, teach, he’s settled into giving writing workshops at a French university and taking occasional students to bed. These little affairs of the heart are all part of the perks of being a professor, he tells himself, and things seem to go perfectly well until he wakes up one morning to find his latest conquest dead in his bed. In fact, according to Marc’s disturbingly affectless narration, things go pretty well after that, at least for a while. He disposes of the body in a deep, secret pool known only to himself and his sister Marianne; the police inquiries into the disappearance of Barbara, as Marc eventually remembers her name to be, are pro forma; and when Myriam Machinchose, Barbara’s new stepmother, shows up on campus to learn more about the stepdaughter she’d barely met, Marc ends up in bed with her with remarkably little fuss and even less reflection. The only cloud on the horizon, it would seem, is Annie Eggbaum, a hopeless writing student with a great body, boundless self-confidence and a father right out of The Sopranos. Annie keeps throwing herself at Marc, and the combination of her enticements, her threats and the beatings Marc gets from her father’s thugs is so persuasive that eventually, he’s bound to give in, despite the fact that he’s still continuing his affair with Myriam. The women in Marc’s life increasingly blend together in his memory and desire until the inevitable consequences.
Bold, elliptical, fashionably inconclusive and very French.