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Indulge in Decadence
on 2 July 2013
Sit back, relax, and indulge yourself with this book of short stories from fin de siecle France. Tales in this book are from the Decadent movement, which perhaps less people are familiar with than other such literary and art movements. This book is chock full of tales and include:-
Jules Barbey D'Aurevilly - Don Juan's Crowning Love-Affair
Viliers de L'Isle-Adam - The Presentiment, The Desire to be a Man, Sentimentalism
Catulle Mendes - What the Shadow Demands
Leon Bloy - A Dentist Terribly Punished, The Last Bake, The Lucky Sixpence
Octave Mirbeau - On a Cure, The Bath, The First Emotion, The Little Summer-House
Jean Richepin - Constant Guignard, Deshoulieres, Pft! Pft!
Guy de Maupassant - At the Death-Bed, A Walk, The Tresses, Night
Gustave Geffroy - The Statue
Jean Lorrain - An Unsolved Crime, The Student's Tale, The Man With the Bracelet, The Man who Loved Consumptives
Georges Rodenbach - The Time
Remy de Gourmont - Danaette, The Faun, Don Juan's Secret, On the Threshold
Jules Laforgue - Perseus and Andromeda
Marcel Schwob - The Brothel, The Sans-Gueule, 52 and 53 Orfila, Lucretius, Poet, Paolo Uccello, Painter
Pierre Louys - A Case Without Precedent
So, as you can see there is a very good selection to choose from. Some of these tales you may be familiar with and read before, especially those by Guy de Maupassant, but others you may never have even heard of. Taking in love, the fantastical, murder, suicide, hedonism, and the macabre this is a good book for those who are coming to the Decadent period for the first time, as well as those familiar with this movement, as there is so much here all in one book. Some of these tales have a streak of very dark humour running through them and as you will find if you decide to get this, there are some real gems in here, such as the man with the headless shadow, whether a body is really dead before entering the oven at the crematorium, and what is the legal position of conjoined twins if one wants to marry, but the other doesn't.
I must admit that I have taken a bit of time putting a review on for this, the reason being that I already read it once over the weekend, but immediately started from the beginning and re-read it. As usual with OUP Classics, this has a good introduction, and explanatory notes. I would think that a lot more people than those who will actually buy this would enjoy this book, as it has so many different tales to offer, all of them very good.