Books: Bugged Vegetable

TERRA AMATA by J.M.G. Le Clézio. 217 pages. Atheneum. $5.95.

The Germans may have the word for it: Weltschmerz. But French writers have a long tradition in it too—a literary bleating of the young in which the gyrations of the ephemeral self and the monumental turnings of the solar system get dizzily confused. J.M.G. Le Clézio is a handsome lad of 29 with sporting initials and a static style who has in recent years been a flashily successful practitioner of that mournful art. His first book, The Interrogation, a kind of Krapp's First Tape, won France's third most prestigious literary award, the...

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