Strait is the Gate
1 journaler for this copy...
A slight, interesting book, built around a single theme, an obsessive aesthetic young man (Jerome) is driven by a religious fervour and a misplaced sense of righteousness to dedicate his life to the pursuit of his older cousin, Alissa. His logic, taken from the Bible "Strive to enter in at the strait gate" is that anything that’s tough to do is worthwhile, so the tougher it is, the better – in the eyes of God - with or without hope or expectation of eventual success. I paraphrase of course. Oh, and the converse also applies, "for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction." I think I take the easiest path most days ;)
Now, this isn’t an ordinary love story; Alissa positively discourages the interest to the point of making herself unattainable, which in the end ruins her life as well as his. This reminds me a bit of another book by a Frenchman, The Outsider, by Albert Camus. In both cases the lead isn’t very likeable, and acts out his life as if it is somehow expendable, by some obscene form of denial of personal responsibility; either driven to exist by fate (Meursault) or destiny (Jerome)
Picked up at our first Ipswich meet-up, and a fine occasion it was too :)