Books: Petrified Nature

THE INTERROGATION by J.M.G. Le Clezio. 243 pages. Atheneum. $4.50.

A character in Albert Camus' The Plague devised a strategy for cheating death by making life seem to drag on as long as possible: he did tedious things on purpose, like listening to lectures in an unfamiliar language or lining up at the box office for theater tickets and then not buying a seat. Since French literary inbreeding is both chronic and severe, it was inevitable that sooner or later someone would devote a whole book to Camus' throwaway idea. J.M.G. Le Clezio has in effect done just that, in a first...

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