The Pole tells the story of Wittold Walccyzkiecz, a vigorous, white-haired pianist who becomes infatuated with Beatriz, a stylish patron of the arts, after she helps organize his Barcelona concert.
Although Beatriz, who is married, is initially unimpressed by Wittold, she soon finds herself pursued and ineluctably swept into his world. As he sends her letters, extends countless invitations to travel, and even visits her husband's summer home in Mallorca, their unlikely relationship blossoms, though only on her terms.
As the power struggle between them intensifies -- Is it Beatriz who limits their passion by controlling her emotions? Or is it Wittold, trying to force into life his dream of love? Evocative of Joyce's 'The Dead,' The Pole is a haunting work, evoking the 'inexhaustible palette of sensations, from blind love to compassion' (El Pais) typical of Coetzee's finest novels.