Les Diaboliques (The She-Devils)

Les Diaboliques The She Devils First published in Les Diaboliques caused an uproar and all the copies of the book were seized on the orders of the Ministry of Justice as the book was a danger to public morality In Les Diaboli

  • Title: Les Diaboliques (The She-Devils)
  • Author: Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly Robert Irwin Ernest Augustus Boyd
  • ISBN: 9781873982273
  • Page: 317
  • Format: Paperback
  • First published in 1874, Les Diaboliques caused an uproar and all the copies of the book were seized on the orders of the Ministry of Justice as the book was a danger to public morality In Les Diaboliques there are six tales of female temptresses she devils in which horror and the wild Normandy countryside combine to send a shiver down the spine of the reader.

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    One thought on “Les Diaboliques (The She-Devils)”

    1. Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly (1808 – 1889), romantic with the sensibility of a decadent , self-styled dandy, teller of risqué novels and short stories, shocked readers and infuriated the authorities with the publication of Les Diaboliques. But there is much more to this captivating novel with its sumptuous, elegant language, well-crafted metaphors and highly visual and sensual imagery than simply shock value. Below are a number of themes common to the six separate tales comprising this novel:St [...]

    2. "'Keep in the ranks, Ranconnet,' said Mesnilgrand, as though he had been commanding his squadron, 'and hold your tongue. Are you always going to be as hot-headed and impatient as you are before the enemy? Let me make my story manoeuvre as I like.'"Thus Napoleon's old commander upbraids a former officer who presumes to suggest that he get to the point of his narrative in "A Dinner of Atheists," one of the six stories included in Barbey d'Aurvevilly's "Les Diaboliques."It is good advice for any re [...]

    3. He was no longer thinking about her beauty. He was looking at her as if he wanted to attend her autopsy.[Il ne pensait plus à sa beauté. Il la regardait comme s’il avait désiré assister à l’autopsie de son cadavre.]I once heard someone explain what ‘rococo’ meant by saying that it’s what happens when the baroque out-baroques itself. Barbey d’Aurevilly is what happens when the Romantic movement out-Romantics itself. These stories are obsessed with the Romanticism of high emotion [...]

    4. It may be that creatures of that sort love deception for deception's sake, as others love art for art's sake, or as the Poles love battles. Ladies. First and foremost, d'Aurevilly is concerned, enchanted, and perhaps obsessed by les dames du salon, and the more clever and deceptive, the better appreciated. He will concede that his Royalist, Catholic codes are double-edged, double-sided, even, and can be reversed for interesting effect. And he knows that (for 1820) the gallant gentleman's heroic [...]

    5. Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly has written a strange, but beautifully composed set of decadent short stories. The unifying theme is a set of heroines who are intent on vengeance, crime, or violence. In most of the six stories, there is a framing story, usually involving aging roués recalling their youths over coffee, brandy, and cigars. Typical are the old soldiers in "At a Dinner of Atheists," in which the conversation turns to women:All took part in this abuse of women, even the oldest, the toughes [...]

    6. Quite a good read. Perhaps a bit stiff for some, but these varied tales of male and female relations must have been shocking at the time and a few still manage to disturb.D'Aurevilly writes almost exclusively of the defeated, wealthy class of French monarchists, left to languish as society and history passes them by. Most are set either in D'Aurevilly's sometimes-hometown of Valognes or, of course, Paris. Interestingly, they are all told as stories within a story, so the intruiged and shocked re [...]

    7. I have a feeling that I wouldn't have liked the man in person (the whole aristocratic / monarchist / holier than thou thing) BUT, he sure could write. I'm not giving it five stars because I felt like it dragged a bit a few times (could have removed a page or two)."Like everything else that provokes malice and envy, birth exercises over the very people who most bitterly reject its claims a physical ascendancy, which is perhaps the best proof of its rights. In time of Revolution this ascendancy is [...]

    8. This is another of those works, notable for its now dated, obsolescent notorious-ness, but one that stands on its own merits. Les Dia (not to be mistaken for Les Diarrheaux, Eng. "The Diarrhea-tistes" by Comte En Briches) was, in its time, considered to be a work of great obscenity (it's not) and is now mistakenly considered some spine-tingling work of gothic fright (it's not). Maybe they're getting it confused with LeFanu? Interestingly, the collection can be considered offensive by our modern [...]

    9. I liked this book quite a lot. The stories may not be as diabolique as they might at first seem, but one can feel how shocking and scandalous they would be during their time. It's an easy read for people like me who are more into the stories of people than the stories themselves. D'Aurevilly puts great emphasis on the characters, along with their history, feelings and experiences. The stories are all from a third persons point of view: some from the author's, some from another "narrator". **Incl [...]

    10. Cette collection de six contes publiée en 1874 est le plus réussi des ouvrages de Jules Barbery d'Aurevilly. Chaque nouvelle raconte l'histoire d'une femme diabolique qui commet une crime. Il faut dire que les femmes sont belles, séduisantes et bien habillées. Elles vient toutes des milieux aisées.Les Diaboliques va plaire a tous ceux qui aime le style decadent de la France de la fin du siècle. Ce n'est pas un genre qui m'emballe beaucoup mais les exemples dans ce receuil sont tous très b [...]

    11. Quel étrange personnage que ce Barbey d'Aurevilly ! Voilà le deuxième livre que je lis de lui, et je ne parviens toujours pas à me sentir à l'aise avec ce drôle de bonhomme J'ai fini aujourd'hui Les diaboliques, recueil de six nouvelles publié en 1874, et je dois avouer que ce fut une lecture plutôt longue et parfois assez laborieuse. Ce qui ne m'a pas empêchée de relever, aidée par une préface très intéressante, de nombreux éléments de réflexion. Je pense d'ailleurs avoir mieu [...]

    12. This book was much more enjoyable than I originally anticipated. It has confirmed my very particular proclivity for 19th century erudite French smut.D'Aurevilly is a master storyteller, and the melodrama with which he conveys these stories is superb. I don't usually require a strong storyline to keep my interest engaged in a work, so it was a welcome surprise to be so engaged by it here. This oft-overlooked collection should be more visible than it currently is within the realm of left of field [...]

    13. There's a lot of black romanticism in here, going all the way to bloody horror in the last story, but Barbey d'Aurevilly's style is not interested in creating tension, but more in describing states. That's the dandy background, probably. While those stories have one supernatural foot in the earlier romantic literature, the dandyism foot is standing in the mid-19th century society. And then, yes, he's a three-footed beast, there's the bluntness and horror casting a shadow on the modern times to c [...]

    14. Ce serait un grand livre si l'auteur vraiment avait aimé les femmes. Sa misogynie implicite le gâte.Il faut savourer la diablerie de telles femmes magnifiques, célébrer leurs scélératesses plutôt que moraliser contre elles par sous-entendu.Hauteclaire, la belle escrimeuse qui porte le nom de l'épée d'Olivier, pourrait être une des personnages les plus grandes de littérature -- si seulement elle a été écrit par un type moins salaud.

    15. Dans l'ensemble un très bon recueil mais des histoires d'intérêt inégal, en ce qui me concerne En fait j'ai préféré les trois premières tandis que les trois dernières ne m'ont pas absolument passionnée. Mais j'ai adoré le style de l'auteur, très pointu, très fin et très drôle, en fait. Mon histoire préférée est Le Rideau Cramoisi, car pour moi c'est la plus concrète et la plus glauque, celle dans lequel le mot "diabolique" prend tout son sens.

    16. Öncelikle kitabı bitiremedim, ancak yarıladım. Devamını okuyacağımı düşünmüyorum çünkü bahsedilen 'Şeytani' öyküler dönemin tanınmış beylerinin çapkınlık hikayelerinden başka bir şey değil. İlk iki hikayeden sonra belki daha farklı hikayeler de vardır diye şans verip okumaya devam ettim ama birbirini tekrar edip duruyordu öyküler. Zaman kaybı olarak görüyorum maalesef.

    17. La meilleure entrée en matière pour l'oeuvre du génialissime Barbey d'Aurevilly, un écrin d'une pâte classique qui renferme l'étrange, le fantastique, l'impensable, l'inavoué. Une alliance de feu et de glace qui n'est pas sans rappeler, sous un certain rapport, Léo Perutz. "le bonheur dans le crime" a transporté la jeune escrimeuse que je fus autrefois.

    18. Is it possible to admire a book and be disgusted by it at the same time? The stores in this collection by 19th century French author Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly feature wicked amoral women who drive men to adultery, crime, and despair. The stories are all narrated by men, usually relating their story of sin and regret to a younger man. It would be easy to dismiss Barbey d'Aurevilly as a misogynist, but he describes his "she-devils" in such enraptured detail that it is hard to believe he does not se [...]

    19. Adorabile decadentismo "da soffitta": un giocattolo abbandonato e ormai frusto - un relitto - che, pure, ha un suo modo rétro di fare sensazione. Se l'autore adoperava "costumi sfacciatamente all'antica e fatti per dare nell'occhio", tale è la sua posizione letteraria che attinge a tutte le suggestioni romantiche di derivazione Secentesca, addensandole al gusto prettamente più decadente per la donna diabolica che muta il sesso debole in sesso forte. Un'orda sensazionale - delitti, veleni, cuo [...]

    20. Un classique singulier où les femmes, plutôt que d'être les potiches décérébrées comme elles sont d'habitude décrites dans les ouvrages de ce siècle, deviennent des panthères, somptueuses de grâce, de finesse et de vengeances. L'auteur dresse le portrait de plusieurs d'entre elles, diaboliques dans leur mode de vie et leurs amours.

    21. I received this from a giveaway.The stories were certainly interesting, but the writing style takes some getting used to. Translation seemed well done - I enjoy reading books from this time period so it was enjoyable to discover a new author.

    22. Interesting but too confusing at times. The storytelling isn't really linear, we lose the plot sometimes.

    23. Un godibilissimo minoreLe diaboliche lette dopo aver divorato alcuni libri di Balzac permettono ancor meglio di capire la grandezza di quest'ultimo. Non che Barbey d'Aurevilly non sia un buon scrittore, tutt'altro, ma la differenza di complessità, di capacità di analisi tra i due è abissale.I due si assomigliano: scrivono nella prima metà dell'800 il primo, poco più avanti il secondo; entrambi aborriscono i valori borghesi resi egemoni dalla rivoluzione, che identificano nel dominio del den [...]

    24. "Chi oggi, non preparato, intraprenda la lettura delle 'Diaboliche' di Barbey d'Aurevilly, probabilmente si sentirà poco attratto da quei preamboli prolissi di conversazioni, così diverse dalle conversazioni d'oggi, così conformi a un tempo in cui non si aveva fretta, si sedeva per lunghe ore al caffè, si scrivevano lunghe lettere, si facevano veglie intorno al focolare, e le comunicazioni erano lente, e le strade molto più tranquille, un tempo lontanissimo da noi, assai più vicino a quell [...]

    25. These are a set of six almost novella length stories completed in 1871. They are remarkably clever and subtle which develop almost as understated ‘tales of the unexpected’. They are a constant simmer of literary 1800s French realism possibly depicting the women leads as the cause of degeneration (though the stories are told by a key male) – I understand much like Madame Bovary et al it was suppressed by the French Ministry of Justice as it was believed to be a danger to public morals.‘Th [...]

    26. Barbey was at least morally right to say in his Preface that having read Les Diaboliques, no one would wish to read it again -- though the book's popularity tells a different tale. Whether he was correct to add that this aversion-inducing quality is precisely "what comprises the morality of a book" is questionable. (For a translation of the preface, go here.)The first story may be the best of the six - it ends with a numinous thrill. The last, which turns out remarkably frightening, begins with [...]

    27. I just want to give a big ole' thanks to the Powers-that-be for my win on this book Diaboliques: Six Tales of Decadence!!It was an interesting read. I had a little trouble getting through itoften having to remind myself that this is an old book come to life through this new translation of these stories. Perversedarknisterdiabolique??ybe for those times but not for this day and age. I didn't hate the book but I did not love it. To be fair, maybe I need to go back and re-read itd if my thoughts c [...]

    28. It is indeed funny, how this book combines the genuine horror of a young officer whose hand has been touched by a hand of a young woman under the dinner table in the first novella (Le rideau cramoisi) with the graphic mutilation and torture scenes, or with eighty nuns raped by two escadrons and thrown into a well while still alive in the last novellas.Style sample (makes me wanna turn it into an intertitle in a silent film): "Notre amour avait eu la simultanéité de deux coups de pistolet tiré [...]

    29. Some may find the tales in this collection of short stories to be a bit extreme, which is understandable. I believe this was published as part of a Decadent collection, which should immediately warn the reader that the content won't exactly be moral or even appropriate. Personally, I found it to be awesome (particularly the last story). Though his prose isn't strong, Barbey produced an imaginative work that will have the reader on the edge of their seats in horror, astonishment, and often times [...]

    30. Very interesting stories that were written and then translated from the 1600's to the 1800's. Shows the depth of writing and thoughts, that definitely permeated society during the above time frames. The stories were thought provoking, often twisted, in their means to convey the diabolical levels that others would go to during that time. The stories achieved the sort of lasting impression, that would leave you thinking and maybe not sleeping after reading them. winner on this one, thank you.

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