ArtsFuse: 'Diaboliques'—An essential hidden dimension in French literature

By John Taylor

Diaboliques by Jules Barbey d'AurevillyRaymond N. MacKenzie’s superb translation of Les Diaboliques (1874), the once-notorious, now forgotten collection of six “decadent” stories by the “dandy” Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly (1808-1889), is likely to go unnoticed. This would be a pity, for Barbey’s presence in French literary history is like an essential hidden dimension. Not perceiving it means missing something important about the whole.

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