Books: Toujours la Tristesse

A CERTAIN SMILE (128 pp.)—Françoise Sagan—Dutton ($2.95).

A favorite pose of the very young is to abandon hope because they still have so much. One of the best-paid literary practitioners of this kind of premature despair is Paris' intellectual gamin, Françoise Sagan, just turned 21. As readers who pushed the sales of Bonjour Tristesse past the million mark know, Sagan wears her world-weary rue with a spicy difference. In her novels, sin triumphs over everything but syntax. This high-styled amorality led one French critic to sum up her work as "classicism in panties."

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