An associative, retrospective, register of the thoughts and occasional fantasies of a dying man, alone in a room where he has spent many months (his lungs are shot) ""thrust into loneliness... and condemned to boring association with inanmate objects"". A writer of 35, whose wife Elizabeth is a successful actress, he is no longer able to work; he sleeps and dreams fitfully; and in his waking moments e is devastatingly rational, sometimes sullen, and suspicious with the petulance which illness aggravates. There is his resentment of Elizabeth and her soothing olicitude as well as his love which alternates with hate; softer memories of his other and his childhood, harsher ones of partisan warfare and reprisals; interittent and more obtrusive spasms of sexual desire and disgust; fantasies which are always tinged by death. The naked eye is a savage one, often fixated on the specifics of physical decomposition and deterioration with a grim repellence. In translation from the Polish, this invites an ineluctable respect for what has been achieved, hardwon in terms of the general reader.