8 Jul 2013
This is Colette.
And this is her book.
This is the original front cover of 1st edition Claudine a l'école, 1900, published in Paris by Société d'Editions Littéraires & Artistiques, Librairie Paul Ollendorff, Chaussée d'Antin. And this cover sucks. Claudine looks like a tramp.
But that was still belle époque (shabby chic incarnated) and Claudine even at 15 was good looking and sexy. She was falling in love easily - with women and the sky did not fall.
I was about 12, the book belonged to my mother and I've read it five times over in one summer (of course).
The edition I read was plain-covered (thanks God).
I read several from the Collette series but my favourite will remain the first one, Claudine à l'école.
I still like the memory of pleasure reading the well crafted narrative and a little erotic thrill coming from the story. The sun was always up, the linen were all white, the living was slow.
As if the belle époque summer was never ending.
When you look at it - lesbian relationships in literature ca 1900 ?!?!
Collette was a revolutionary. Once scandalist, or controversial at best she died revered at 81, the officer of the highest honours, including Legion of Honour, received the state funeral and is interred at Pearle La Chaise cemetery, where so many of the stars live.