Aphrodite: mœurs antiques MOBI ¸ Aphrodite: mœurs

Aphrodite: mœurs antiques ❰Reading❯ ➾ Aphrodite: mœurs antiques Author Pierre Louÿs – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Le personnage féminin ui occupe la première place dans le roman u'on va feuilleter est une courtisane antiue mais ue le lecteur se rassure elle ne se convertira pas Elle ne sera aimée ni par un moi Le personnage féminin ui occupe la première place dans le roman u'on va feuilleter est une courtisane antiue mais ue le lecteur se rassure elle ne Aphrodite: mœurs eBook ´ se convertira pas Elle ne sera aimée ni par un moine ni par un prophète ni par un Dieu Dans la littérature actuelle c'est une originalité Courtisane elle le sera avec la franchise l'ardeur et aussi la fierté de tout être humain ui a vocation et ui tient dans la société une place librement choisie ; elle aura l'ambition de s'élever au plus haut point ; elle n'imaginera même pas ue sa vie ait besoin d'excuse ou de mystère ceci demande à être expliuéJusu'à ce jour les écrivains modernes ui se sont adressés à un public moins prévenu ue celui des jeunes filles et des jeunes normaliens ont usé d'un stratagème laborieux dont l'hypocrisie me déplaît « J'ai peint la volupté telle u'elle est disent ils afin d'exalter la vertu » En tête d'un roman dont l'intrigue se déroule à Alexandrie je me refuse absolument à commettre cet anachronisme.


10 thoughts on “Aphrodite: mœurs antiques

  1. Scribble Orca Scribble Orca says:

    Ah This writer is sublimeI cannot think I can only respond as the string of a violin uivers under the drawing of a bow This is prose so voluptuous that no amount of imagery sumptuous voluminous sensuous or rapturous can even begin to describe the delights of this bookLiterature only reaches the utmost limit of its seductiveness when it gives occasion for jealousy not the petty feelings that constitute envy of one writer for another but the searing tumultuous emotion that demands withholding its beauty and wonder from the eyes of all other readersSuch a book is this


  2. Shawn Shawn says:

    A little bit of a preamble here so those looking for a succinct review need to jump down a few paragraphsFirst point when I first started assembling my reading list which for a very long time afterwards was just an endless spreadsheet document with names of books and their authors about 20 odd years ago and was pilfering all kinds of names of classic and genre lit to add I came up against a conundrum was I going to include erotica a genre which at that point in my life I had little use for? Sure you can make the easy one handed reading jokes all you'd like but somewhere deep in my mind was the idea that much like almost everything else I'd included there had to be good reason why the genre existed and interesting texts to be read On the other hand I really couldn't conceive of what could be gained from endless descriptions of physical encounters and emotional conflicts Well years later I'm glad to have made the right decision Oh no doubt there will be duds here and there as there are in any genres but my inclusion of potential erotica reads will likely be helped by my overarching focus on and love for non contemporary books There are all kinds of reasons for that focuslove not worth exploring here but suffice it to say that crude modern gropings along the lines of 50 SHADES OF GRAY were never going to enter into my orbit anyway And as I've grown older and read widely I've found that one of my greatest joys in reading comes from placing a work in its chronologicalhistoricalcultural context and there's no reason why erotica will not serve just as well as any other examples over the yearsSecond point My reading of this books was somewhat hampered by my choice of physical text I happened to have having once worked for them the illustrated hardcovers produced by Humanoids the American arm of French bande dessinée publisher Les Humanoïdes Associés of Metal HurlantHeavy Metal fame which accompany the text with erotic art from different artists as can be seen here Aphrodite Book One Aphrodite Book Two Aphrodite Book Three but soon discovered that they seemed to have abandoned the English versions before completing the text A uick visit to a used book store scored me the Modern Library versiontranslation seen here but reading that made me uestion how effectivethoroughedited the Humanoids texts were I don't really have time in my life to re read anything so I greatly enjoyed finishing the book while worried that much enjoyment may have been missed from the first half C'est la vieAs a short aside the illustrated version are uite nice although the Milo Manara artwork while certainly accomplished is a bit too uh clinically gynecological for my tastes the Georges Bess artwork has a nice poster art uality at times and the Claire Wendling artwork is in a darker interesting styleREVIEW First Tier Is this book worth reading? I would say yes for a number of readersinterests for those interested in the portrayal of ancient times and customspractices involving sex and culture for those interested in an examination of the links between passionlust and crime and for those interested in a Literary DecadentSymbolist worldview applied to the preceding topics APHRODITE is never boring or heavy and achieves a remarkable effect by the climax Much than a work of erotichistoric fiction it features musings on some deep topics A thoroughly enjoyable readREVIEW Second Tier So what you are getting here is actually two thingsOne is an historical novel set in ancient Alexandria the full title is APHRODITE MOEURS ANTIUES Ancient Manners intensely focused on the livescustomspractices of courtesans prostitutes and their customers the pampered royalty and intellectual classes of the cityBut Louÿs deliberately uses this setting and story to indulge in multiple exercises a descriptive celebration of physical beauty and physical love a luxuriance in Orientalist detail an exposition of LibertinePagan philosophy an exploration of just how much erotic content he can get away with as per contemporary s a savoring of contrasts between ancient and modern moralsethics and finally a relishing of the freedom that the fin de siècle has given him to introduce darker undertones to the narrative contrasting eternal art with mortal beauty life and death intellectual philosophy and human suffering crime and spiritual faith etcSo as may be seen this scandalous phenomenal bestseller of its time is something than a mere stroke book Any prurient interests it may have engendered have long since been overridden by our culture and so one can enjoy it for all the further details to be teased from the text Which is not to say the overall erotic tone is not present the opening scenes in which Chrysis luxuriates in sleeping late bathing and performing her daily ablutions and toilette while admiring and enjoying her body are a masterclass in subtle tactile erotic writing with a sensory evocation of texture color surface light and scent; and a focus on hair skin water perfume atmosphere dressing costume and tintingThe plot is fairly straightforward Chrysis a stunningly beautiful 19 year old courtesan is desired by celebrity sculptor Démétrios whose mistress is Alexandria's ueen Bérénice But Chrysis is indifferent and her perverse streak If someone should adore me it seems to me that I would find much pleasure in making him suffer until he died of it drives her to demand three offerings as proof of the sculptor's love Obtaining the offerings will involve the commission of three crimes each worse than the last the mirror of Sappho theft the High Priestess' Ivory Comb murder as she is never without it and the necklace that adorns the statue of Aphrodite sacrilege As Démétrios sets upon his task although deeply conflicted we are given a cross section of life in the city at the time the parties and orgies the lives of slaves and courtesans etc The climax which I will reveal only in a spoiler space later involves a reversal of power and a decision to embrace transient beauty over life itself and how art preserves that beauty in eternal if dead formDémétrios who is used to being loved for his physical beauty and skill but not used to loving someone is the main mouthpiece of the Decadent worldview here He is melancholy because he finds that he loves the marble statue of Aphrodite he has sculpted than his actual lover the ueen because it is perfect and eternal His passion for Chrysis undergoes an interesting transformation as the story proceeds hinging specifically on a detailed symbolic dream he experiences near the climax Chrysis' specific reuest for objects relating to the presentation of physical beauty also has a neat inversion at the end There are interesting secondary characters and scenes as well even tween Cleopatra shows up for a chapter Rhodis Mytrocleia lesbians appalled by heterosexual love make a demand of Chrysis who enthuses in her seeming power over the sculptor and contemplates reuesting regicide and revolution that she promise that they can officially wed and adopt children as lesbians can in their home country We are given a detailed overview of the Temple of AphroditeAstarte which houses 1400 courtesans of various ages nationalities and customs including 10 year old courtesan Melitta who we hear from occasionally Naucrates Chrysis discuss the philosophy of love between the same and opposite sexes and the need for courtesans in society; and in one powerful scene view spoilerfollowing a night's orgy to celebrate the freedom of former slave Aphrodesia she is unjustly blamed for Démétrios' theft and crucified hide spoiler


  3. Eadweard Eadweard says:

    A decadent and erotic? historical novel the prose and the descriptions of Ptolemaic Alexandria are just luscious the plot itself isn't much but that is not why you read this sort of work If I'm not mistaken this became a best seller when it came out For an older work downloaded off Project Gutenberg the translation was uite explicit It was a delight to her to look at herself through the water She saw herself like a great pearl shell lying open on a rock Her skin became smooth and perfect; the lines of her legs tapered away into blue light; her whole form was supple; her hands were transfigured The lightness of her body was such that she raised herself on two fingers and allowed herself to float for a little and fall gently back on the marble causing the water to ripple softly against her chin The water entered her ears with the provocation of a kissIt was when taking her bath that Chrysis began to adore herself Every part of her body became separately the object of tender admiration and the motive of a caress She played a thousand charming pranks with her hair and her breasts Sometimes even she accorded a direct satisfaction to her perpetual desires and no place of repose seemed to her propitious for the minute slowness of this delicate solace The orient was bathed in a sea of colour A long band livid as a water leaf enveloped the horizon with an olive coloured girdle Higher up several tints sprang out of one another liuid sheets of blue green sky irisated or lilac coloured melting insensibly into the leaden azure of the upper heavens Then these tiers of colour rose slowly a line of gold appeared mounted expanded a thin thread of purple illumined this melancholic dawn and in a flood of blood the sun was born


  4. Michael Steger Michael Steger says:

    I was led to this book by some intriguing amusing references to it at the beginning of Roberto Bolano's 'The Savage Detectives' It is a thoroughly enjoyable work of uasi literary semi pedantic decadent somewhat Symbolist inevitably kitschy soft core eroticism with a good bit of Orientalism thrown in for good measure It is the story of a much admired though fictional Alexandrian courtesan in the reign of Berenice II of Egypt ie 3rd century BCE Shortly after the novella begins the heroine chants a song poem in praise of her body ending with some words of praise for her sex 'She is a purple flower overflowing with honey and scent' and that or less sets the tone It may remind you of Flaubert's 'Salaambo' though of course Flaubert evidently was much into violence and sadism than sex per se'Aphrodite' was written in 1895 when Louys was 25 and published the following year and it was one of the best selling books of its time Louys was a friend of Valery Mallarme and Wilde who dedicated 'Salome' to Louys and an admirer of the new work of the young Gide Luis Bunuel's still unsettling 1977 film Cet Obscur Objet du Desir is based on a Louys novella Louys ended his life as a sad and sickly figure preyed upon by his friends and acuaintances and trying to alleviate his migraine with cocaineLouys was praised for his literary French form and criticized for his decadent provocations a scene in which an Alexandrian courtesan is accused of theft and crucified in the midst of a chatty philosophical dinner party orgy was not exactly well received by the critical establishmentHe was also a great celebrant of Lesbian love indeed like Kristeva in her 'Soleil Noir' Louys seems to uestion how on earth women ever come to be attracted to men at all and to this day Louys is something of a minor icon in Lesbian cultural historyThis is not a great book but it is nonetheless a fascinating oneIn his Introduction Louys suggests that his novel is meant to serve the cause of reminding readers of how sensual and pleasurable life could be if we think of the Mediterranean cultures before the Christian era of sin and shame Against the frigid efficient North Louys pits the languorous hedonistic Southsensuality is the mysterious but necessary and creative condition of intellectual development Those who have not felt the exigencies of the flesh to the uttermost whether for love or hatredare incapable of understanding the full range of the exigencies of the mind Just as the beauty of the soul illumines the whole face in like manner virility of the body is an indispensable condition of a fruitful brain The worst insult that Delacroix could address to men the insult that he hurled without distinction against the decriers of Rubens and the detractors of Ingres was the terrible word eunuchsBut further it would seem that the genius of peoples like that of individuals is above all sensual All the cities that have reigned over the world Babylon Alexandria Athens Rome Venice Paris have by a general law been as licentious as they were powerful as if their dissoluteness was necessary to their splendour The cities where the legislator has attempted to implant a narrow unproductive and artificial virtue have seen themselves condemned to utter death from the very first day It was so with Lacedæmon which in the centre of the most prodigious intellectual development that the human spirit has ever witnessed between Corinth and Alexandria between Syracuse and Miletus has beueathed us neither a poet nor a painter nor a philosopher nor an historian nor a savant barely the popular renown of a sort of Bobillot who got killed in a mountain defile with three hundred men without even succeeding in gaining the victory And it is for this reason that after two thousand years we are able to gauge the nothingness of Spartan virtue and declare following Renan's exhortation that we curse the soil that bred this mistress of sombre errors and insult it because it exists no longerShall we see the return of the days of Ephesus and Cyrene? Alas the modern world is succumbing to an invasion of ugliness Civilization is marching to the north is entering into mist cold mud What night A people clothed in black fills the mean streets What is it thinking of? We know not but our twenty five years shiver at being banished to a land of old menBut let those who will ever regret not to have known that rapturous youth of the earth which we call ancient life be allowed to live again by a fecund illusion in the days when human nudity the most perfect form that we can know and even conceive of since we believe it to be in God's image could unveil itself under the features of a sacred courtesan before the twenty thousand pilgrims who covered the strands of Eleusis; when the most sensual love the divine love of which we are born was without sin let them be allowed to forget eighteen barbarous hypocritical and hideous centuries


  5. Mel Mel says:

    I read an English translation of this it was listed as a modern translation which I'm guessing meant they left the naughty bits in I did enjoy the book a lot It was great to have interesting and independent women characters The lesbian couple were adorable When put in perspective with English literature at this time it was miles ahead I must admit though I was uite disappointed by the ending After stating so explicitly in the introduction that this was NOT a tale of morality I thought it terribly disappointing to not only condemn the main character but to do so with scripture It was depressing that she had to pay for her crimes and not the man who committed them There were a couple things that just didn't make sense to me why she wanted him to commit these crimes in the first place and what she hoped to gain by them Also in the translation I read there was no mention of him completing the first task I don't know if this was because the translator missed a bit or the original author just didn't include it But a bit disappointing I did enjoy this and could appreciate what the author was trying to do but I just wish he'd tried a little harder


  6. Feliks Feliks says:

    This book was the scandal and sensation of its era; banned for many years in many lands Very much worth your while to seek out I assure you It's got everything Rich sumptuous prose remote historical setting exotic landscape gorgeous uninhibited heroine Passionate romance Cruelty blood torture and death Wild parties; casual nudity; Greek poetry; dancing; bacchanalias Raunchy frank ribald unexpurgated erotic passages Religious schisms; political statements morality play Everything all bound up into one fairly mesmerizing experience This sordid tale lives up to every inch of its tawdry reputation Its a must read for anyone with red blood coursing through their veins It's also probably a big slap in the face for today's modern day PC centurions who probably have a whole fresh set of complaints to make about it just as their prudish forebears did decades ago


  7. Caroline Caroline says:

    Classed as erotica but one of the loveliest written books I’ve ever read The protagonist is a respectable and successful prostitute who peels herself sensually off the page by way of generous sumptuous and tactile descriptions The tongue in cheek humor had me giggling to myself and memorizing jokes for use in later conversations


  8. Joseph Joseph says:

    Vivid and well researched portrayal of ancient Alexandria with great insights into desire obsession and love all portrayed in a beautiful and beautifully written story a masterpiece


  9. Jim Puskas Jim Puskas says:

    “La Belle Dame sans Merci Thee hath in thrall” KeatsThis is an astonishing piece of work A morality play An historical relic set in Alexandria under the Ptolemaic dynasties An allegory A tale of obsession hubris and doomed love falling victim to its own excessesI believe this is the most lyrical novel I’ve ever read Each vignette passes like a scène de ballet or a seuence from a verismo opera — eg an episode at sunset along the jetty with sailors merchants idlers musicians coming and going is reminiscent of the Café Momas scene in La Bohème The book is gently erotic in atmosphere but certainly not in the least bit crude or lascivious This edition in a wonderful English translation is further enhanced by a set of sensuous etchings by Frank J Buttera The sensuality lies not in the subject matter largely absent of carnality but rather in the language itself languid evanescent evocative humid The reader is swept along in Demetrios’ obsession fatally conjoined with Chrysis’ compulsionArtfully embedded in Pierre Louys’ glowing prose is a significant dose of social reality While the courtesans of ancient Alexandria were highly respected and were not victims of predatory pimps or abusive patrons this was in fact a fiercely competitive profession For the weak the imprudent or those who couldn’t measure up there was no mercy; they were bound to end up in abject poverty and eventually descend into slavery As for that notion of a “tart with a heart of gold”? Not a chance These women were cold blooded in their pursuit of wealth privilege and a life of luxury And when thwarted they were capable of vicious cruelty as amply demonstrated by the vengeance enacted by one of them over the theft of a simple objectThe Author’s Preface is particularly enlightening and at the same time a fascinating artifact on its own The short tale he includes wherein Odysseus is faced with a choice between virtue and voluptuousness is both entertaining and entirely à proposReading this book now it’s easy to understand how it became a resounding best seller when first published in the 1930s And yet it’s almost forgotten today I’m very grateful to have been able to find a copy now a treasured addition to my personal library


  10. Mike Mike says:

    Well parts of this fantasist romantic idea of the ancient world were pretty good and it was certainly lushly written Still I found myself asking why every character was making bad decisions mostly because they seemed to have no inner life and were driven entirely by whimsy and momentary emotional outbursts In some ways this book seemed ahead of its time 1890s though I read the 1920s English translation particularly for the frankly tender portrayal of lesbian characters but for racism it's pretty firmly of its time the kind where you get the sense that the author thinks he's being progressive but every description of a beautiful woman with brown skin makes it clear that she's beautiful in spite of her skin color instead of because of it or even just treating it neutrally Also the author makes almost every incidental unnamed slave black while giving named slaves of a variety Other than that I could have done without the murder and torture as well as the weird and totally unnecessary scene with Cleopatra


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