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THIS book is a cunning exposition of the love life between a Frenchman and a Marmoset. Its esoteric appeal will be at once evident by the following quotation. "Me. I am hees muzzaire, hees seestaire, le consort of hees soul, le angel of his destinay! she declaimed passionately." Here in a few words is a compact, clear, concordance of the incest theme, inherited through Racine from the great Greeks. The French with their superior sensibility for inferring symbolically the heart of the situation, substitute here a small animal, a marmoset, for the loved one, thereby reducing the horror of the situation which could, otherwise, be unbearable.
It is almost needless and completely useless to say that this book is as slight, irrelevant and disappointing an approach to a noble theme that we have ever read. There is no depth, no irony, only a flat-chested humor of the most nasal resonnance. The diction throughout is based on the questionable philosophy that France is full of Frenchmen. Little Arlette, the dyer-kiss do-de-o-do (but I loof heem, ah mon Dieu how I loof heem). Jacques the melancholy boulevardier (you ave hask me eef I spik ze English?), and Mimi the cockeyed marmoset, are really but two-dimensional characters. They never really exist. With that amen of thankfulness, let us ask ourselves how, even in the greatness of the economic waste in the book industry, this mosaie of maudlin superfluity was ever published.
Harpers Magazine for June, according to an advance announcement, contains an article of particularly timely interest for this season of the year. Frederic F. van de Water, author and literary columnist of the New York Evening Post, has written a story entitled "The Saturnalia of College Reunions". Mr. van de Water attended New York University and Columbia.
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