19 July 2010

Will O' The Wisp (Pierre Drieu La Rochelle)

This novel covers the last forty-eight tragic hours in the life of a young drug addict, Alain. At the opening of the novel he is living in a fashionable clinic, ostensibly receiving a 'cure' for his addiction. His life has always been an empty one. He has lived off women ever since he was able, money having always been a bigger inducement to marriage or the taking of a mistress than love. He has always had vague 'projects' which would occupy him but which his spiritual paralysis has prevented him from putting into action. In these last hours of his life Alain searches among his friends and acquaintances for an example, for one person so committed to life, so obviously leading a fruitful, meaningful existence that they can give him an argument for life. He finds no such example and commits suicide. Will O' The Wisp was first published in France in 1931 and was based on the actual suicide of one of the author's friends.

3 comments:

Lutetia Dandy Club said...

Good book, very dark but well written, do you know
the movie from Louis Malle: "The Fire Within"...

Tabitha said...

Cripes, I see myself in the "vague projects' line - existential slump has just come on.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Sounds tragic and morose...but probably strangely moving and an inducement to self reflection on certain issues.