Claude Chabrol Penelope Gilliatt - Essay

Penelope Gilliatt

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Passions that exist only in infirm half forms are a theme of ["Juste Avant la Nuit"]. Charles's fatal game with Laura is one of danger without adventurousness and of sex without eroticism. His very story is one of calamity without tragedy. The only thing moving about it is the pity of the fact that perhaps, in his catastrophic link with Laura, he was outmatched….

In "Juste Avant la Nuit," the suggestion is that the hero is in a state of madness because he believes that he has savaged the natural order and that the natural order can be reinstated only by his own extinction. The more Charles repents, the more he enforces the death he importunes. He chooses to solicit his wife to murder him, but it is...

(The entire section is 516 words.)