Books: Two-Sided Frenchman

THE LOVED AND THE UNLOVED (153 pp.)—François Mauriac—Pellegrini & Cudahy ($3).

As a novelist, François Mauriac has two sides: 1) the urbane Frenchman who analyzes love with the detachment of a metaphysician, and 2) the devout Roman Catholic who wrestles with sin.

Mauriac's latest novel, The Loved and the Unloved, rehearses his usual themes: human flesh as ineradicable temptation, romantic love as a path to mutual hatred, bourgeois life as a variety of spiritual sloth, and free will as man's great burden ("Our bad actions belong wholly to us"). The book is written in a style that is almost spectacularly gaunt. In tone...

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