An edition of the erotic classic that shocked America when it was first translated and published by the notorious Grove Press.
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Jean de Berg is a pseudonym. The authors of The Image are the French New Wave novelist and filmmaker Alain RobbeGrillet and his wife, Catherine. RobbeGrillet is famous for such novels as The Voyeur and as the screenwriter for the Alain Resnais film Last Year In Marienbad.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
We went to have tea at the pavilion in the park. Claire was lively, talkative, almost childlike. Even Anne spoke with confidence and gaiety. I could see, on this occasion, that she wasn’t stupid at all. However, we only talked about trivial things: gardening, art, literature. Claire made me give the latest gossip on the ‘fraud’ of the moment she had heard me holding forth about the night before at the party. The two young women seemed very amused. But, little by little, this good mood vanished. The silences grew longer, and Claire’s face took on the same closed look it had had at the beginning of our outing. Her classic features, her cold beauty, her remoteness, made me think of some goddess in exile. I saw that she was once again completely engrossed in her young companion, her prot‚g‚e, her victim, her mirror image. Anne, for her part, had resumed the modest demeanor of an object of lust. We finished our tea. While Anne was arranging the pleats of her skirt on her lap Claire abruptly asked her: ‘Is the rose still in the proper place’’ Bowing her head, she indicated that it was. ‘When you’re sitting down,’ Claire went on; ‘the petals must fall down between your legs and get crushed. Is that right’’ Anne nodded. ‘Then you must open your legs wider, so that the flower can hang freely and not be ruined, do you hear’’ The girl, immobile from the waist up, eyes fixed on her empty cup, carried out the order silently and rearranged the pleats of her skirt over her stomach and knees. Claire then asked: ‘Can you still feel the petals between your thighs’’ Anne nodded that she could. ‘Does it feel nice’’ asked Claire. At this the girl began to blush. ‘Well’ Can’t you answer’’ ‘Yes, it feels nice,’ the girl answered. But it was only a murmur. Claire warned her that if she didn’t speak more distinctly in the future she would pull down the top of her dress and expose her breasts, right there in front of everybody. Then, turning to me: ‘It would be very easy, you know, since with that gathered neckline her dress is only held up by a band of elastic, and since she hasn’t got a thing on under it anyway.’ Putting her words into action, Claire reached out and pulled the top of her friend’s dress down a couple of inches, enough to bare the rounded shoulder, the beginning of the armpit, and half of one breast...
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