Fiction of Gay Interest
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Plot / Content: Rating: g
According to Wikipedia, the novel "tells the story of André Jayant, a novelist who marries a petty-minded woman called Berthe. When he finds out Berthe has been unfaithful, he leaves her to live first with a high-class prostitute called Blanche then with a working-class woman, Jeanne, with whom he had had a love affair five years before. When Jeanne is forced to leave for a job in London, André decides he cannot cope with life on his own and returns to his wife. The novel also features the artist Cyprien Tibaille, André's best friend, who had already appeared in Huysmans' previous novel, Les Soeurs Vatard. En ménage is partly autobiographical and both André and Cyprien contain elements of the author's own personality."
Background / Biography:
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"Their smouldering cigars were stinking like half burnt charcoal.
Doing up his trouses which had become unbuttoned, Cyprien exclaimed:
'If you call that pleasure, even though you may have been used to it ever since you got pushed into marriage, you don't ask for much. To be stuck in a corner for hours, watching puppets jumping about, getting your gloves dirty and your glass sticky, constantly on your guard and escaping, when the hostess, on the look out for dancing quarry, goes poaching at random through the rooms.'
André shrugged his shoulders, and, spitting out the tobacco juice which left a taste of pepper in his mouth, simply said:
'Pooh, you get used to it!'"
opening paragraphs (translation notes omitted)
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