cover image Vagadu: The Adventure of Catherine Crachat: II

Vagadu: The Adventure of Catherine Crachat: II

Pierre Jean Jouve. Marlboro Press, $30 (175pp) ISBN 978-0-8101-6040-8

In Part II of the Adventures, the middle-aged Catherine is short of cash, still longing for Pierre and so dangerously depressed she resorts to psychoanalysis. As she explores her ambivalence about being a woman, her fantasies of degradation and her early childhood, Catherine's finely rendered dreams begin to take precedence over real life. When she befriends virginal, depraved Noemi, the traumas of Catherine's past begin to repeat themselves. Jouve's skill at portraying power struggles between women is once more on display, and his account of one of Noemi's purely voyeuristic encounters with her boyfriend may be one of the weirder erotic scenes in all of literature. As psychoanalysis slowly uncovers episodes of sexual abuse in Catherine's childhood, Catherine renounces a masochistic affair, survives the lowest depth of depression and finally comes to terms with her past. Written in 1931, the sequel to Hecate gives free reign to Jouve's poetic and psychological originality, offering a rich early portrait of the analysand. (Oct.)