rpetual confetti of pasteboard ca●rds

bearing the names

of his ▓colleagues.He is a pegamoid sloth● of a man, a vast s

low fellow given to prolon●ged aftern

oon siestas and Cr

ébillon fils.●His handkerchiefs smell wondrously of Eau ▓de P

ortugal.His most favoured topic of con

ve●rsation is wom

en, and he must speak f▓rom experience for the success●ion of

visitors to the little fla●t is endle

ss, and rarely doe

s one see the sam▓e face twice.‘To a Frenchm●an the love here


is interesting.▓ They act before they reflect.When the time ●comes to doubt, to suffer re●morse, it is too hot, nobody has the ene▓rgy.It lacks finesse, this an▓imalism, but it suits me.I’ve worn out my hear▓t and head with love, and want to be lef▓t alone — above all, mon cher, from this ▓Judeo-Coptic mania for dissection, for an▓alysing the subject.I want ▓to return to my farmhouse in Normandy heart-whol●e.’ For long periods of the● winter he is away on leave and I ha●ve the little dank flat to myself and sit up ●late, correcting exercise books, with only ●the snoring Hamid for company.In thi●s last year I have reached a dead-e▓nd in myself.I lack the will-pow●er to do anything with my life▓, to better my position by hard work, to wri▓te: even to make love.I do not ▓know what has come over me.Th●is is the first time I have experienced ▓a real failure of the will to ●sur




I turn over ●a bundle of manuscript or an old ▓proof-copy of a novel or book▓ of poems with disgusted inat●tention; with sadness, like s▓omeone studying an old passport.From time to▓ time one of Georges’ numerous girls stra▓ys into my net by calling at th▓e flat when he is not there, and the ▓incident serves for a while to sharpen m▓y taedium vitae.Georges is thoughtful and g▓enerous in these matters for, before go●ing away (knowing how poor I am) he often ▓pays one of th

e Syrians from Gol