11 June, 2012

Chéri by Colette (1920)

I’ve had a bad run with French literature of late, but Chéri has put an end to that. This story of an aging courtesan and her young, rich boy toy was scandalous in its day but now comes across as well, quite charming really. Colette's wry and sharp observations of pre-war high society Parisian petulance and vanity, along with its apparently carefree pleasures, are a delight. Of course all this was soon to be obliterated forever by WW1, and it is change and loss that sit emphatically at the heart of this wonderful novel. 

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