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Angels of Perversity

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  7 reviews
"Anatole France called Remy de Gourmont (1858-1915) the 'greatest living French writer'. The stories Francis Amery has collected and translated under the not inappropriate title The Angels of Perversity are from the first half of Gourmont's career, when, as a writer of short fiction he established himself as a significant figure in the Symbolist movement."
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 25th 2015 by Dedalus (first published February 1st 1992)
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Glenn Russell
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing


`The Angels of Perversity' is a collection of 30 short tales by French philosopher/aesthetician/literary critic/fiction writer Remy de Gourmont (1858 - 1915), a leading voice of the fin-de-siècle decadent and symbolist schools who was heralded as the `critical conscience of a generation'. Although handsome as a young man, a skin disease ravaged his face when Gourmont was in his early 30s, prompting him to become a recluse and devote the next 25 years of his life to writing, enough writing to
...more
Tyler
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking For Something Unusual
Shelves: 19th-century
Curiosity about Decadence as a genre led me to this book, which Dedalus has translated as part of a program to make the literature of the EEC states available in other languages. The book comes in two parts, Studies in Fascination, a series of short stories, and The Phantom, a novella running about 46 pages.

Almost all these stories are among the best short stories I've read, and if the book had been longer I would have given it five stars. As it stands, this collection leaves readers wanting
...more
Shawn
Nov 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Dedalus revives another forgotten writer as part of their Decadence series with this sampler of the short fiction of Remy de Gourmont. ANGELS OF PERVERSITY consists of selections from STUDIES IN FASCINATION and edits from the long-form THE PHANTOM.

de Gourmont is quite a find. Not translated much into English (his reputation for unflinching sexual content made him somewhat notorious), it's a pleasure to read this delicate work now. First, a word of discouragement - those expecting salacious
...more
Eadweard
"As Sarah had suggested – and certainly intended – Aubert returned the next day to the same spot. The seagulls were dancing lightly on the gentle air-currents.
Sarah’s dress flapped in the wind.

A white butterfly alighted on her hand; she took it by the wings and slowly tore it in two. Aubert stared at her in horror – but having committed her little murder she passed her hand sensuously through her flaming tresses, entirely tranquil. Then, as if performing a ritual, she opened her arms wide as if
...more
lisa_emily
Dec 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: phantasmagorics
Shelves: tales, phantasmagoria
There should be a genre called phantasmagoric fiction. Writings that threaten with an opium-tinged lethargy and hallucinogenic seduction. Haunted plots inhabited by characters imbued with a particular cobalt, tedium vitae. Angels of Perversity would befit this genre. De Gourmont's collection of short stories- very short,some only a few pages long, carry a languor and slight Satanic gleaming. The story, "The Dress," where a man falls in love with a dress, seems to cross a shadow in my mind every ...more
Dfordoom
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: decadent-fiction
Angels of Perversity features selections from Remy de Gourmont's 1891 novel Le Fantome and his 1894 short story collection Histoires Magiques. They're meditations on sex and death with something of a mystical tinge. He's not well-known in English-speaking countries because most of his work was for many years considered much too sexually explicit to be published. The stories from Histoires Magiques in particular are exquisite - they're like strange and dangerous hot-house flowers.
Lori
Oct 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I have read so much about the Symbolist it is time to read some Symbolist writing.
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45 followers
Rémy de Gourmont was a French Symbolist poet, novelist, and critic. He was widely read in his era, and an important influence on Blaise Cendrars.
“The pleasure of being a scoundrel can be adequately savored in silence.” 20 likes
“Extraordinarily excessive sensuality it may be .. but it all comes down to the same thing in the end, and one means is surely as good as another, since the end obtained is always the same. In any case the exceptional, endlessly repeated, is no different than the banal; and unceasing recapitulation can add nothing, in the end, to the sum of experience. I am weary and hopeless three times the dupe. Why have you trained me in the shame of abominable sins?” 10 likes
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