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Violette Leduc (1907 - 1972)

Related: French erotica - French literature - erotic fiction - publishing


Violette Leduc (April 7, 1907 – May 28, 1972) was a French author.
In 1968 Radley Metzger made a film of Leduc's novel Therese and Isabelle. The film was a commercial feature about adolescent lesbian love, starring Essy Persson and Anna Gaël. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violette_Leduc [Mar 2005]

La Bâtarde / The Bastard (1964) - Violette Leduc

La Bâtarde / The Bastard (1964) - Violette Leduc [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The New Yorker
Remarkable ... filled with sudden anguished, tender phrases of sensual beauty.

Kirkus Reviews
"La Bâtarde is one of the most extraordinry books to have come out of France in some time."

An obsessive and revealing self-portrait of a remarkable woman humiliated by the circumstances of her birth and by her physical appearance, La Bâtarde relates Violette Leduc's long search for her own identity through a series of agonizing and passionate love affairs with both men and women. When first published, La Bâtarde earned Violette Leduc comparisons to Jean Genet for the frank depiction of her sexual escapades and immoral behavior. A confession that contains portraits of several famous French authors, this book is more than just a scintillating memoir—like that of Henry Miller, Leduc's brilliant writing style and attention to language transform this autobiography into a work of art.

Violette Leduc was born the illegitimate daughter of a servant girl and was encouraged to write by Maurice Sachs and Simone de Beauvoir. Her first novel (L'Asphyxie [In the Prison of Her Skin]) was published by Camus for Gallimard and earned her praise from Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet. She went on to write eight more books, including Ravages, L'Affamee, and La Folie en tete [Mad in Pursuit], the second part of her literary autobiography.

"Notoriety aside, Leduc is first and foremost a first-rate writer. Not someone who just tells a provocative story and is unafraid to reveal the most offensive parts of her personality and of her experience, but someone who is in love with words, struggles with them, wrestles with language, dies for adjectives, is tortured by her search for le mot juste."—Women's Review of Books

"Whoever speaks to us from the depths of his loneliness speaks to us of ourselves. In La Bâtarde, a woman is descending into the most secret part of herself and telling us about all she finds there with an unflinching sincerity, as though there were no one listening."—Simone de Beauvoir

-- http://www.centerforbookculture.org/dalkey/backlist/leduc.html [Jun 2005]

But popular and commercial success eluded her until 1964 when La Bâtarde (The Bastard) was published--minus the Thérèse et Isabelle section, which her publisher deemed too explicit in its depiction of lesbian lovemaking. ( Thérèse et Isabelle was finally published in 1966 and made into a film in 1968.) --http://www.glbtq.com/literature/leduc_v.html [Jun 2005]

Therese (Essy Persson) and Isabelle (Anna Gael) in
Therese und Isabell (1968) - Radley Metzger [Amazon.com]
(© 1998 First Run Features. All rights reserved.)
image sourced here.

See also: Essy Persson - erotic fiction - lesbian - Radley Metzger - 1964

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