PATHS OF LOVE by Vercors


Email this review


The author of You Shall Know Them and Silence of the Sea presents two novelle devoted to the exploration of the various ramifications of love. Both are told in the first person. The narrator of December's Freedom thinks he is in love with Edwige Granval, his childhood friend, and he is disconsolate at her marriage to a cripple. Later he visits her and her aloof and strange family in Italy and learns that their household has been, for years, seething with incest. It was the young narrator's purity and innocence which Edwige once felt would rescue her from her decadent stepfather. And he is shattered afterwards to hear of her suicide and the irony of the circumstances which bestowed the Legion of Honor on Hector Granval. Monsieur Prousthe is a tormented, dedicated man whose obsessive perversion destroys his worthy career. But deviously his tragedy creates a legacy of love which is realized only after his death and which represents -- to the narrator, an unexpected gift of the marriage of chance and necessity. Vercors' stories evolve by implication and through a subtlety of expression in which events occur very much as they do in life: imperceptibly, but with a decisiveness of degree. The stories are told with a sophistication and a detachment of style (not mood) which have one outstanding effect (and perhaps flaw): his situations are more real than his people.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1960
Publisher: Putnam