Happy Valentine’s Day

Because a celebration of love doesn’t have to end in a debauchery of all things furry-pink-sugary, we have put together our latest coups de coeur where Cupid is front and center.

Vivant Denon invites us to a night of forbidden pleasure with a young man who has been drawn into a gloriously scandalous affair between a countess, her husband, and a marquis.

Stéphane Audeguy delivers a highly original story that takes us from ancient times until the present day. And Minh Tran Huy keeps us on our toes with an implacable sentimental thriller.

And to round things off, we also wanted to share a couple of classics by Roland Barthes and Colette!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Reading List

Histoire d'amour by Stéphane Audeguy

In between the lines of Histoire d’amour, we read a fascinating narrative, one that tracks the evolution of human love, from the ancient times to nowadays. These stories that overlap and intertwine through a tangle of delightfully imagined scenes whisper in our ear how love is eternal, never ceasing to reincarnate itself in new bodies, in new skin, in new environments–both the same and somewhat different, unique and always ungraspable. Read the full staff pick here.

Histoire d’Amour, a novel by Stéphane Audeguy, Seuil

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Les Inconsolés by Minh Tran Huy

Told through an ingenious series of flashbacks, the story of Lise and Louis keeps readers on their toes: who is responsible for Lise’s disappearance? her sister — and rival since childhood? her too-charming-to-be-honest husband? Or had Lise herself become prey to her own melancolia?

Vietnam’s tragic past and French legends meet in this flamboyant love story that one can’t put down! Read the full staff pick here.

Les Inconsolés, a novel by Minh Tran Huy, Actes Sud

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No Tomorrow by Vivant Denon
Unlike other great classics of libertine literature, No Tomorrow is light, delicate, and concerned purely with the reader enjoying themselves as they spend a night with a young man who has been drawn into a gloriously scandalous affair between a countess, her husband, and a marquis. Like all works in the genre, it involves the opera, a chateau, and a group of depraved, despicable, and sometimes quite funny aristocrats. Throughout the course of the story’s invigorating thirty pages, we feel the thrill of attraction and desire through the author’s exceptional prose, hurtling towards an erotic, joyful, and meaningless conclusion.
“I looked hard for the moral of this whole adventure…and found none.” Enjoy this unedifying but highly entertaining tale! Read more here.
No Tomorrow, a novel by Vivant Denon, trans. from the French by Lydia Davis, New York Review Classics

Chériby Colette

One may say, without risking to sound bombastic, that Chéri is the ultimate love story–as well as the ultimate love story for its main character, Léa de Lonval, a 49 year old courtesan involved with a 25 years old lover whom she calls “Chéri”. We follow the lovers through the very last moments of their love affair, since Léa is aging and Chéri is getting married, needless to say, to someone else! Read more here.

Part of Le Cabinet précieux d’Albertine :
Colette, Chéri (together with:) La Fin de Chéri, Paris, Arthème Fayard, 1920 & Ernest Flammarion, 1926, 2 volumes, 12 mo, red morocco by Canape & Corriez, all edges gilt.
Give us a call (212-439-1433)  for more information about purchasing this book.

Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.”  -Roland Barthes

The lover conquers or fails in his speech. His quest resides not in the other, but in the existence with the other. As we read, we cherish the empathy of the  Lovers  experience, because we, as the voice we read, are also hoping, waiting, and embracing the abyss. Read more

Fragments d’un discours amoureux (A Lover’s Discourse) by Roland Barthes, Points / Seuil

Other recommendations by Albertine Team