How we cite our quotes:
Never before had he seen more lustrous dark skin, a more seductive figure, or more delicately shaped fingers than those through which the sunlight gleamed. (1.1.23)
The first time Frederick lays eyes on Madame Arnoux, he sees that she's smokin' hot. Every part of her body calls out to him, and our narrator doesn't hesitate to recount it all for us. Does anyone else feel a little voyeuristic? Does Frederick?
He longed to become familiar with the furniture of her apartment, all the dresses that she had worn, the people whom she visited; and the desire of physical possession yielded to a deeper yearning, a painful curiosity that knew no bounds.
Frederick's obsession with Madame is almost immediate, and this "painful curiosity" is just the beginning. But wait a second—how on earth are we supposed to reconcile this "desire of physical possession" with the fact that the two are never sexually involved?
Whenever a woman was walking in front of him, or coming in his direction, he would say: "Here she is!" Every time it was only a fresh disappointment. The idea of Madame Arnoux strengthened these desires.
Okay, it's that bad. Everywhere Frederick looks, he sees her, as if he's in a bad (read: we watch it all the time) romantic comedy. This woman—or rather, this woman's sexy look—becomes Frederick's primary motivation for his every move.