Trelkovsky is an anonymous young Parisian man who is put upon by everything; despite trying to stand up for himself he seems a hapless, perpetual victim: absurdity was an essential part of him. It was probably the most basic element of his personality. After finagling with a landlord to let him stay in a recently vacated apartment for just under the asking price - a superhuman feat for someone as fearful as Trelkovsky - he learns of the horrible suicide attempt by Simone Choule, the woman who lived in the room previously. After leaping from the apartment window and crashing through a glass roof below, Simone is now laid up in the hospital, completely bandaged, gravely injured, except for one staring eye and a wounded, screaming mouth.
Topor (1938 - 1997)
Then Trelkovsky embarks on an awkward romance with Stella, the woman's younger friend. But his new neighbors seem to be irritated beyond belief by Trelkovsky, unjustifiably so, always banging on his walls and ceiling for him to be quiet when he makes the slightest sound. Trelkovsky slowly begins to fear he is at the center of a diabolical plot orchestrated by the other tenants in the building. He wakes one morning to find one of his teeth is missing and, on another, that women's makeup has been applied to his face...
the Panic Movement). There's alienation, humiliation and embarrassment, pervasive loneliness and the struggle to reach out, feelings of worthlessness and spite, of indignity and pride, of being trapped in a tightening noose of unavoidable social obligation, awash in suspicion and paranoia.
He caught a glimpse of his own reflection in a shop window. He was no different. Identical, exactly the same likeness as that of the monsters. He belonged to their species, but for some unknown reason he had been banished form their company. They had no confidence in him. All they wanted from him was obedience to their incongruous rules and their ridiculous laws, ridiculous only to him, because he could never fathom their intricacy and their subtlety.
So it's Dostoevsky, Kafka, Camus, Poe, and more all thrown together into a hell of a puzzle of an identity crisis. That should make you feel better after reading all those cheap paperbacks with bloody fangs and foil-stamped titles on the cover. And if it doesn't, here's Isabelle Adjani from Roman Polanski's film adaptation.
Ahh, now that's much better.