The Fetishist (Magill's Literary Annual 1985)
According to Victor Brombert, Michel Tournier is “arguably France’s finest novelist today.” Since 1967 and the appearance of Vendredi: Ou, Les Limbes du Pacifique (Friday, 1969), his first published novel, an increasing number of critics in Europe and, more recently, the United States, have been arguing just that case. Friday was followed by Le Roi des aulnes (1970; The Ogre, 1972), Les Météores (1975; Gemini, 1981), and Gaspard, Melchior et Balthazar (1980; The Four Wise Men, 1982). The Fetishist is the first collection of short fiction by Tournier to be published in English. These fourteen short stories, which range in length from two pages to thirty-six, reveal in concentrated form the haunting absorption with psychic monstrosity that distinguishes Tournier’s longer works.
The Fetishist originally appeared in French as Le Coq de bruyère, and the eponymous fiction “The Woodcock” is the longest piece and the one that occupies the very center of the American edition. “The Fetishist,” however, which is the final story in the book, can stand as effectively as “The Woodcock” as a synecdoche for the whole volume. Both are bizarre accounts of the mechanisms of obsession.
“The Fetishist” is the manic monologue of a patient...
(The entire section is 1374 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1985)
Book World. XIV, October 28, 1984, p. 9.
Booklist. LXXXI, January 1, 1985, p. 622.
Kirkus Reviews. LII, August 1, 1984, p. 712.
London Review of Books. VI, March 15, 1984, p. 20.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. September 16, 1984, p. 2.
The New Republic. CXCII, February 11, 1985, p. 39.
New Statesman. CVIII, December 9, 1983, p. 25.
The New York Review of Books. XXXI, November 8, 1984, p. 25.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXIX, September 9, 1984, p. 7.
Performing Arts Journal. VIII, no. 2, 1984, p. 103.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXVI, August 24, 1984, p. 73.
(The entire section is 68 words.)