• The Fall opens with the narrator acting as interpreter for an unnamed companion.
• The two men settle in for a conversation over their glasses of gin, though it rapidly becomes apparent that Clamence will permit little or no interjection from his compatriot.
• The narrator first begins by expounding on the character of the bartender, speaking of him as effectively deaf
• Paris is the next subject undertaken by Clamence and from that point, using Amsterdam and its population as a contrast, he enters into a dissertation on modern, bourgeois man.
• The narrator gives his name to his companion and tells his occupation.
• He is Jean-Baptiste Clamence, "judge-penitent."
• Seemingly wearied by Clamence's monologue, the auditor rises to leave, but is pursued by Clamence who insists that he show the other man to his hotel.
• Clamence explains that he awaits displaced Europeans in the "Mexico City." For the moment...
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