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Book Title: The Devil in the Flesh|
The author of the book: Raymond Radiguet
ISBN 13: 9780714534022
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 720 KB
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Loaded: 2298 times
Reader ratings: 3.7
Edition: Marion Boyars
Date of issue: 1968
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The Devil in the Flesh, one of the finest, most delicate love stories ever written, is set in Paris during the last year of the First World War. The narrator, a boy of 16, tells of his love affair with Martha Lacombe, a young woman whose soldier husband is away at the front. With an accuracy of insight that is almost ruthless, he describes his conflicting emotions—the pride of an adolescent on the verge of manhood and the pain of a child thrust too fast into maturity.
The liaison soon becomes a scandal, and their friends, horrified and incredulous, refuse to accept what is happening—even when the affair reaches its tragic climax.
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Read information about the authorRadiguet was born in Saint-Maur, Val-de-Marne close to Paris, the son of a caricaturist. In 1917 he moved to the city. Soon he would drop out of the Lycée Charlemagne, where he studied, in order to pursue his interests in journalism and literature. He associated himself with the Modernist set, befriending Picasso, Max Jacob, Jean Hugo, Juan Gris and especially Jean Cocteau, who became his mentor. Radiguet also had several well-documented relationships with women. An anecdote told by Ernest Hemingway has an enraged Cocteau charging Radiguet (known in the Parisian literary circles as "Monsieur Bébé" – Mister Baby) with decadence for his tryst with a model: "Bébé est vicieuse. Il aime les femmes." ("Baby is depraved. He likes women." [Note the use of the feminine adjective:]). Radiguet, Hemingway implies, employed his sexuality to advance his career, being a writer "who knew how to make his career not only with his pen but with his pencil."[1:][2:]
In early 1923 Radiguet published his first and most famous novel, Le Diable au corps (The Devil in the Flesh). The story of a young married woman who has an affair with a sixteen-year-old boy while her husband is away fighting at the front provoked scandal in a country that had just been through World War I. Though Radiguet denied it, it was established later that the story was in large part autobiographical. Critics, who initially despised the intense publicity campaign for the book's release (something not normally associated with works of literary merit at the time), were finally won over by the quality of Radiguet's writing and his sober, objective style.
His second novel, Le bal du Comte d'Orgel, also dealing with adultery, was only published posthumously in 1924. Radiguet had died the previous year, aged 20, of typhoid fever, which he contracted after a trip he took with Cocteau. In reaction to this death Francis Poulenc wrote, "For two days I was unable to do anything, I was so stunned" (Ivry 1996). Alongside these two novels, Radiguet's works include a few poetry volumes and a play.
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