I wonder how sex has been dealt with in contemporary French novels. When it comes to love, we say France. Sagan, Collette, and Bataille described so much attractive characters, but if they are here, it must be terribly uncomfortable to be with. Such is the case with him and her in this novel. They are attractive, but so much ugly, unreasonable that anxiety and vague uneasiness they have can be felt sincere to us, though. “Not-surely” feeling sounds quite familiar.
The novel begins with a usual play in a general adultery novel, though they feel it is very different from a common encounter. However, what is interesting is that their relation is led into the unexpected direction. They, being in a normal fortunate family, get gradually involved into a sexual dissipated life. She truly hopes for him to use herself for his pleasure since that is also her pleasure indeed, so that really unquestionable is her will to conform to his dictation. In consequence of her being forced by him to intercourse with others, having sex like rape, being spanked, she finds herself pleased with such sort of plays. On the contrary, he by degrees feels reluctance to get into the relationship with her in spite of his strong sexual exaltation at the beginning.
......But it’s no use explaining the outline. It is certainly true that the novel is resonant with themes in the French masterpiece, Story of O. O’s figure has a common basis with the woman in Happiness that her anxiety is to be compelled to have a responsibility and make a decision by herself. It’s easy to conclude that pursuit of sexual pleasure is caused by her uneasiness, however, since there’s no discontent in her life with a quite fortunate family, we get puzzled. We often hear of rumour of a murderer which people say, “he is a very calm and kind person indeed...”, for instance. So it is such confusion that the novel actually attempts to scrutinise.