Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Woman and the Puppet by Pierre Louÿs

During the Carnival in Seville, a young Frenchman, André Stévenol, spots a beautiful young woman. But before he can speak to her she disappears. Fortunately he sees her again in a carriage. He chases it to a house. He knocks on the door but is turned away by the butler. André sees a match seller on the corner, who gives him the woman's name. She is Doña Concepción Pérez, the wife of Don Manuel Garciá. When André returns home, he finds a letter promising a rendezvous with the young lady.

Before his rendezvous, André visits with an old friend, Don Mateo. When Don Mateo finds out that André is meeting Conceptción, or Concha, he is becomes quite agitated. He urges André not to meet Concha. When André asks why, Don Mateo tells him that he was once Concha's lover. Don Mateo relates the story of how, over the course of several years, Concha cruelly teased him. While Don Mateo supports Concha and her mother, she continually led him to believe that she would sleep with him, but for years she never relents to do so.

Will André keep the rendezvous? What will Don Mateo do not that he has learned that Concha is in Seville, the very city in which he resides? You must read The Woman and the Puppet to find out.

This is my third Pierre Louÿs book. I enjoyed reading it, but thought Aphrodite and The Songs of Bilitis were better.


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