Books: Mephistophelian Moralist

Mwphistophelian Moralist

THE PROVERB AND OTHER STORIES (287 pp.) —Marcel Aymé—Atheneum($4.50).

The painter Lafleur finds that he has little appetite and less hunger after a day spent working on his canvases. He even gains weight. Then a hungry Parisian low-life discovers the secret; he stares at a Lafleur painting for half an hour and practically belches from such gorging. Somatically speaking, the paintings can be eaten. Lafleur's "nutritive period" works skyrocket from 12,000 francs to 10 million. Even one of his "starvation period" paintings "radiates the equivalent of a small glass of milk." As the press and art critics rave, the public riots...

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