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With its six trenchant tales of perverse love, Diaboliques proved so scandalous on its original appearance in 1874 that it was declared a danger to public morality and seized on the grounds of blasphemy and obscenity. More shocking in our day is how little known this masterpiece of French decadent fiction is, despite its singular brilliance and its profound influence on writers from Charles Baudelaire to Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, J. K. Huysmans, and Walter Benjamin. This new, finely calibrated translation—the first in nearly a century—returns Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly’s signature collection to its rightful place in the ranks of literary fiction that tests the bounds of culture.

Psychologically intense in substance and style, the stories of Diaboliques combine horror, comedy, and irony to explore the affairs and foibles of men and women whose aristocratic world offers neither comfort nor protection from romantic failure or sexual outrage. Conquest and seduction, adultery and revenge, prostitution and murder—all are within Barbey d'Aurevilly ’s purview as he penetrates the darker recesses of the human heart. Raymond N. MacKenzie, whose deft translation captures the complex expression of the original with its unique blend of the literary high and low, also includes an extensive introduction and notes, along with the first-ever translation of Barbey d'Aurevilly’s late story “A Page from History” and the important preface to his novel The Last Mistress.


Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
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  1. Introduction
  2. Raymond N. MacKenzie
  3. pp. vii-xxiii
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  1. A Note on the Translation
  2. pp. xxv-xxvi
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  1. Diaboliques
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. Preface to Les Diaboliques (1874)
  2. pp. 3-6
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  1. The Crimson Curtain
  2. pp. 7-52
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  1. Don Juan’s Finest Conquest
  2. pp. 53-74
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  1. Happiness in Crime
  2. pp. 75-122
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  1. Beneath the Cards in a Game of Whist
  2. pp. 123-166
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  1. At a Dinner of Atheists
  2. pp. 167-224
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  1. A Woman’s Vengeance
  2. pp. 225-262
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  1. Appendixes
  2. pp. 263-305
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781452944746
Related ISBN
9780816696901
MARC Record
OCLC
929628234
Pages
312
Launched on MUSE
2015-11-19
Language
English
Open Access
No
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