A story of teenage angst and an obsessive infatuation with a mysterious French teacher. This book gives an insight into the mind of a precocious Polish youth, battling against the suppression of academic freedom, to win the heart, intellectually, of his Madame. Although at times the literary references seem to overwhelm the storyline, it is worth persevering with as it ends with a neat twist.
It dawned on me that I was seeing this performance, just as I had seen Picasso's drawings and read Victory and the verses from the Rhine, through the prism of 'my misery', as Chopin called a certain love of his. But it was not a matter of deriving emotional thrills from the faint resemblance of the two protagonists to real people: I didn't try to pretend that I was Hippolytus and Phaedra was Madame or anything like that.