THE EXECUTIONER by Plerre Doulle

THE EXECUTIONER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An extended is also a parabic of crime and punishment which while it dallies with many so-called civilized concepts, also toys with the reader, and may either amuse or nettle him with its deliberate use of paradox, irony and sophistry. A westerner, a writer, meets a doctor, from the faraway province of Li-Kang, in a restaurant, who, with a little encouragement and considerable ceremony, tells the story of the executioner Chong who was discovered to have previously administered poison to the condemned who were to perish- ritually- by the sword. Before Chong's own trial, for the violation of his duty, the facts of his life pass in review: his revolt against his predestined profession which led him to run away for ten years; the wretched circumstances in which he found himself with a blind, diseased wife, a sick dog, and a philter of poison; his decision to kill the dog whose peaceful death inspired him to return home and take the office of executioner only to practise a kind of euthanasia for which he will pay the price of a dreadful death.... A fable for our times which while it takes the form of an entertainment is more subtle and severe in its intentions.

Publisher: Vanguard