Fjords: Diaboliques

By Austin Price

Diaboliques by Jules Barbey d'AurevillyThe idea that Diaboliques was deemed so gross “an outrage against public morality” upon its initial publication that police raided the printing house and seized all remaining copies must seem absurd to modern sensibilities. These six stories are not child’s fare, replete as they are with bloody adultery, erotic entanglement and characters of a ferocious and pronounced immorality, but in an age where the derangements of Brett Eason Ellis and Chuck Palanchiuk share shelf-space with hundreds of volumes of true crime collections and even a passing glance at the nightly news will turn-up a cavalcade of real-life nightmares, d’Aurevilly’s contention that the sights he offers are so horrifying because they’re “real histories drawn from this era of ours, this era of progress” sounds impossibly quaint.

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