Monsieur Vénus

Monsieur V nus As a woman Rachilde was a rarity among Decadent authors and in Raoule de Venerande she created a Decadent heroine of singularly monstrous proportions For the imperious Raoule and expert fencer sci

  • Title: Monsieur Vénus
  • Author: Rachilde Maurice Barrès
  • ISBN: 9782080609694
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Paperback
  • As a woman, Rachilde was a rarity among Decadent authors, and in Raoule de Venerande she created a Decadent heroine of singularly monstrous proportions For the imperious Raoule, and expert fencer, scion of an aristocratic line that has engendered Sadean libertines and pious spinsters, lesbianism is merely a banal vice She seeks to transcend the limits of sensual eAs a woman, Rachilde was a rarity among Decadent authors, and in Raoule de Venerande she created a Decadent heroine of singularly monstrous proportions For the imperious Raoule, and expert fencer, scion of an aristocratic line that has engendered Sadean libertines and pious spinsters, lesbianism is merely a banal vice She seeks to transcend the limits of sensual experience in a liaison involving the sado masochistic swapping of genders, and in which necrophilia can be relished in advance of death The object of her desires is the girlish Jacques Silvert, whom she plucks from his insalubrious slum and installs as her mistress in a lavish boudoir Raoule systematically enslaves Jacques by forcing him to surrender his maleness, while she embraces the role of virile lover and ultimately that of the husband about to be betrayed.

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      Posted by:Rachilde Maurice Barrès
      Published :2018-09-27T08:55:04+00:00

    One thought on “Monsieur Vénus”

    1. 3.5 stars. One of the novels included in Asti Hustvedt's "The Decadent Reader", which I'm currently reading. Very well-written, bizarre story that explores gender roles, transvestism, and sado-masochism. Weird, yet I couldn't stop reading. I can't believe the author was only 20 when she wrote this.

    2. Excellent decadent novel: moving and disturbing, with an ending that echoes, in an abstract way, many later horror films and stories.The perversions presented are, by this point in time, passe: mainly a dominant/submissive relationship between a masculine rich woman and her "kept" lover, an already effeminate male artist whom she further feminizes through the course of the novel. This is the crux, but the novel also strays into both vague and specific transvestism, wanton and calculated lust, pr [...]

    3. I have now finished reading Monsieur Venus, which I really enjoyed. I thought it was superbly written: the French just flows, the imagery and play on words (especially, you will have guessed, on masculine and feminine articles and pronouns) are just astounding.I thought the story was well constructed, and could see a clear progression in the events and plot. You start off with this young woman who can get whatever she wants. She has no boundaries. Her aunt is an almost comic character: she is ou [...]

    4. I had to read this book for a course in university and while the French was sometimes challenging I ended up really enjoying it. When it was released it was banned in Belgium and considered to be pornographic, although by today's standards it is not so shocking.The story is about a wealthy young woman called Raoule de Venerande who starts a relationship with a working class man named Jacques Silvert. The story raises questions of gender roles and identities, as they are often reversed. The chara [...]

    5. Woman pretends to be a man and makes a man be her woman, or the acme of fin-de-siècle perversity beautifully written by (what is more!) a maiden. One of the unknown classic of the French literature of the Décadence (end of the XIX century). An interesting read, poetic, which goes far beyond its storyline and into the exploration of love till complete self-abnegation.Some quotes, in the original French:"A sa honte éprouvée devant le mâle qu'elle avait eu l'audace de rendre grossier succédai [...]

    6. Rachilde was a fascinating figure in the Symbolist/Decadent crowd in Paris at the turn of the last century. The wife of the publisher of the influential Mercure, close friend to Alfred Jarry, she was known for going about cross-dressed, and for writing works that upended traditional notions of gender. "Monsieur Venus" is perhaps the prime example of such things. The main character, a woman named Raoule, accidentally meets a very beautiful young man, and becomes enamored of him, despite the huge [...]

    7. Intriguing gender subversion, but the characters were not particularly engaging. I found it difficult to relate to or empathize with most of them because they were fairly one-dimensional and kind of nasty. The only facet that I enjoyed was the sexual and gender playfulness.

    8. Must the French writers always end their novels this way? Not trying to spoil it for anyone. This was such a unique read. The writing style was somewhere between Colette and Radclyffe Hall. I kind of wish there had been a little more passion in the writing style, but I enjoy the simplicity too. What makes this story so exciting for me is the art of bending gender so far that it turns its way back straight. I know the United States just recently embraced homosexuality, but I'm telling you people, [...]

    9. If I were to use a single word to describe this book it will be unsatisfying or maybe insufficient. It is the type of book you rate 3* because deals with taboo issues, made such a rumpus when it was published, was banned; you know, issues you care about, and not because you really enjoyed it. It is build on the familiar frame of rich lady taking as a lover a young and poor man. That in itself can pass as outrageous for some, but if you are familiar with French costumes and French literature it's [...]

    10. I've listed this with Victorians because it's 19th century, but it's a clear example of why the French were so very *not* Victorian. The story of Raoule de Venerande, an wealthy aristocratic woman who makes Jacques Silvert, a poor young maker of artificial flowers into her "mistress," the novel is full of fascinating gender play and performativity, with the two characters slipping fluidly between gender roles. It features one of the most disturbing endings I've ever read. I rather regret buying [...]

    11. Fantastic retelling of the classic Pygmalion story. A dashing and modern heiress remakes a poor artisan into something fit for high society. But, y'know, with a dark, edgy side. In this nearly perfect experiment in gender role reversal, even the macho officer Raittolbe comes down with the vapors. As the mytharc behind the story goes, its 20-year-old author had secretly read Sade in her uncle's library. Like others here, I read this in an anthology (reviewed at /review/show). However if I don't a [...]

    12. Raoule de Venerande, a young woman from an ancient noble family, has a taste for cross-dressing as well as fairly exotic sexual appetites. Her meeting with a poverty-stricken florist and would-be painter gives her the opportunity to indulge her tastes to the full. Jacques Silvert is a passive young man to begin with and is therefore ideal for Raoule’s purposes. She sets him up in a studio and begins an affair with him, but she is to be the man in the relationship while he is to be the woman. B [...]

    13. "My friend," she said in a voice that trembled all at once with forced gaiety and contained passion, "I warn you I shall become drunk, because my tale cannot be told in the accents of reason, you would not understand it!""Ah! Very well!" muttered Raittolbe. "Then I shall contrive to keep my own head!"Then he emptied a flagon of sauterne into an ornately chased drinking-cup. They considered one another for a moment. To prevent himself from losing his temper, Raittolbe was compelled to acknowledge [...]

    14. Quizás en estos días del Fin de los Tiempos ya nada nos sorprende, pero es entendible que un texto como este haya causado revuelo cuando fue publicado en 1884. Travestismo,juegos de roles de género,sadismo,prostitución y "drogas"son mezclados con diálogos ingeniosos que llegan a ser incluso "filosóficos" y con sensuales descripciones de los ambientes "exóticos" de los salones parisinos del Fin de siècle. Considerar que fue escrito por una muchachita de solo 22 años es un punto muy favor [...]

    15. had this on my readlist forever and finally read it - it's authentically transgressive (still - was written in late 19th Century) - Rachilde turns gender power-structure on its head without lapsing into easy feminism this is a strange and violent book (if occasionally over-the-top, melodramatic) - surprised she's not a bigger name (yet - soon maybe) and that no one's made a film version of this book

    16. I appreciate this book from a purely scholastic point of view. It wasn't the most well-structured or entertaining read but definitely interesting. More simply put, I could write endless papers about this novel but would only give a lukewarm recommendation of it to someone not actively involved in the study of 19th century French literature or Gender and Women's Studies.

    17. A wealthy, aristocratic woman discovers a starving artist and literally makes him her bitch. Students of Eve Sedgwick take note, this novel is rife with gender performativity and intriguing sexual reversals. And it has a supremely creepy ending.

    18. Extremely entertaining even when you dislike the protagonist. Touches on gender fluidity, the question of biological essentialism - gender identity vs sexual orientation and how they contrast or overlap.

    19. Resulta inquietante que la autora haya tenido 20 años al escribir el texto y que lo haya publicado en 1884, adelantándose a su época al derribar los roles de género y poner sobre el tapete el travestismo y la pansexualidad. Irrepetible.

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