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It's been thought, but Joe Kaufman has finally made up his mind : life is better spent doing absolutely nothing. And what better place to spend his declining, work-free years than his home in Provence ? After all, the glory days are behind him now and his greatest wish is for everyone to get lost and leave him blissfully alone. This state of non-productivity is not to his wife Irina's taste. His literary agent, Mac Silverstein, doesn't care for it either. It must be said that a substantial advance has been paid by his American publisher - the better part of which has already been spent by the Kaufmans - and still Joseph has not seen fit to write even the opening words of his next novel... Paying back the advance may well be on the horizon. Thus Joseph invents imaginary ailments to ward off the repeated attempts of Irina and Mac to get him back to work. His latest discovery : blindness. Mac's slood pressure goes through the roof, prompting an inspiration : Enter David, a young secretary, full of ambition and admiration for the "old master".