Books: Holy Fool

THE WIND (254pp.)—Claude Simon—Braziller ($3.50).

The man is tall, worn, woebegone. He stammers foolishly when he tries to speak, often does not hear what is said to him. A creased, dirty raincoat is his unvarying costume; he wanders abstractedly, clutching a camera and a sackful of pointless documents. Says a woman, exasperated to find herself in love with him: "What do you think you are, a saint?" That is precisely the point about Antoine Montés: he is a scarecrow and a chronic victim, but he is also a kind of saint—a holy fool.

The...

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