Les Diaboliques (short story collection)  

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"Two works in particular of Barbey d'Aurevilly's fired Des Esseintes' imagination: the Prêtre marié ("Married Priest") and the Diabolique. Others, such as l'Ensorcelé ("The Bewitched"), the Chevalier des Touches, Une vieille Maîtresse ("An Old Mistress"), were no doubt better balanced and more complete works, but they appealed less warmly to Des Esseintes, who was genuinely interested only in sickly books with health undermined and exasperated by fever. In these comparatively sane volumes Barbey d'Aurévilly was perpetually tacking to and fro between those two channels of Catholicism which eventually run into one,—mysticism and Sadism." -- À rebours, translation by Havelock Ellis

"Ces histoires sont malheureusement vraies. Rien n'en a été inventé. On n'en a pas nommé les personnages: voilà." --from the preface to the first edition

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Les Diaboliques (Eng: The She-Devils) is a French language 1874 short stories collection Les Diaboliques by Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly, each of which relates a tale of a woman who commits acts of violence, crime, or revenge. Les Diaboliques caused an uproar and all the copies of the book were seized on the orders of the Ministry of Justice as the book was a danger to public morality. In Les Diaboliques there are six tales of female temptresses - she-devils - in which horror and the wild Normandy countryside combine to send a shiver down the spine of the reader. The most obvious feature of Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly's collection is his peculiar horror of female sexuality. In each of these tales, women, by their erotic wiles and passionate natures, rule and brand the male narrators of the stories. These women's sexual needs are in each case the mainspring that drives tales of death, murder, or violence.


List of stories

Weird Women

Les Diaboliques has also been translated as Weird Women, and published by Charles Carrington in two volumes by the Lutetian Bibliophiles Society. Volume two included 'Happiness in Crime', 'A Woman's Revenge', 'Don Juan's Proudest Triumph' and 'What Lay Beneath the Cards'.

Dedalus edition

Illustrated by Félicien Rops

Dix eaux-fortes pour illustrer Les Diaboliques de J. Barbey-D’Aurevilly dessinées et gravées par Félicien Rops. Paris, Alphonse Lemerre, 1886.

The subjects are:

  • Le sphinx
  • Le rideau cramoisi
  • Le plus bel amour de Don Juan
  • Le dessus de cartes d’une partie de wist
  • A un dîner d’athées
  • Le bonheur dans le crime
  • La vengeance d’une femme
  • La femme et la folie dominent le monde I
  • La femme et la folie dominent le monde II

External links

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