Books: The Love Game

FÊTE (248 pp.)—Roger Vailland—Knopf ($3.95).

"A woman," said Jean-Marc, "is never easy to have. One must be wily."

"It is the same as writing a book," said Duc. "One must be persistent and wily."

"Is it easy for you?"

"Neither with books nor with women. But at my age and because of the novels that I have written, the game follows a different pattern. They know that I know their wiles and they know mine. We waste less time."

This passage of dialogue—and indeed the whole novel—is an unwitting double parody of the love game (French) and the writing game (Hemingway). It is persistent but...

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