Sarrasine: And, A Passion in the Desert
Ostensibly a tale of sexual androgyny, the power of love, and its bitter aftermath, this volume is in fact a study of the force of art on society and the deadly immortality of beauty. The nameless narrator attends a ball held by a wealthy Parisian family whose fortune comes from a work of art, and there meets an extraordinary old woman who bears a strange resemblance to the statue depicted in the painting. He returns to his lodgings to tell the tragic, yet ultimately rewarding tale of the creation of the painting's inspiration: a tale of passion, lust, and transexuality, in which music and art, their powers combined, are fatally attracted.
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admired animal Anne Radcliffe Antonio Canova appeared artist asked Barthes beauty Bouchardon Cardinal Cicognara castrato cave charms Chouans Comedie humaine creature dagger death delightful desert door drawing room dressed Edgar Allan Poe elegant expression eyes face familiar spirit famous fear feel female companion Finally fortune Franche-Comte Frascati French Frenchman gentle gleams grace grass snake happiness head heart high society Honore de Balzac human Italian Kate Pullinger kill kind Lanty family laugh listening lived look lover Maghrebi Marianina melisma Mignonne mistress Mme de Lanty Monsieur movements mysterious narrator novels opera palm trees panther Paris passion paws perhaps pleasure plunged Provencal replied revealed Roland Barthes Rome sands Sarrasine's sculptor secret seemed silence singer sleep smiled soldier soul sparkled statue stayed story strange suddenly theatre thought took turned uttered Vitagliani voice voluptuous wall-covering women writer young girl young woman Zambinella