violette leduc

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simone de beauvoir on violette leduc’s LA BATARDE:

It is said that the unknown writer no longer exists; anyone, or almost anyone, can get his books published. That is exactly the trouble: mediocrity flourishes; the good seed is choked by the tares. Successs depends, most of the time, on a stroke of luck. And yet even bad luck has its causes. Violette Leduc does not try to please; she doesn’t please; in fact, she alarms people. The titles of her book–L’Asphyxie, L’Affamee, Ravages–are the reverse of cheerful. Leafing through them, you glimpse a world full of sound and fury, where love often bears the name of hate, where a passion for life bursts forth in cries of despair; a world laid waste by loneliness which, seen from afar, looks arid. It is not in fact.

“I am a desert talking to myself,” Violette Leduc wrote to me once. I have encountered beauties beyong reckoning in deserts. And whoever speaks to us from the depths of his loneliness speaks to us of ourselves…”

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