The Miscreant - Jean CocteauLondon: Peter Owen, 1958, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Poor Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper edgeworn with a large, tape-repaired, tear to the upper panel with sticker scars to the lower. Pages very gently age-tanned. A decent copy of the first UK edition, not overly common.
From the cover: “This is a story of puzzled adolescence. Jacques Forestier, conscious of his lack of moral strength, responsive to beauty in either sex, is a born parasite and dilettante. Leaving his family, to work for his baccalaureat in Paris, he falls in with a mixed group of students: an albino, an Algerian, a young Englishman down from Oxford, and their assorted mistresses of the chorus. Jacques plunges into an affair with one of these girls, only to find that he continues to be one of many. Returning home, he realises that the simplicity he craves in order to weld his divergent selves together cannot be found in the outside world.
M. Cocteau pursues this theme with the savage irony and needling wit that distinguished The Impostor. For the connoisseur here is a style both mordant and epigrammatic. The book has been fully illustrated with drawings by the author, which adds further to its charm.”