Friday, November 30, 2012

reads #10: october 2012

Gribiche (Colette, 1937)
I picked up this book when I was back home this summer, because I felt like reading in French (a rare occurrence for me). It had been left intact on my shelves for more than 10 years. I had to read it in highschool for French and refused to do so out of sheer stubborness and thought it was funny to present myself at book tests, making up the answers (don't do this at home kids!).
I have the urge this year to read the French classics like Colette, Genet, Camus etc... I think I've been abroad long enough to miss the French culture, and I'm also studying translation, so I need my brain to re-focus on my mother tongue.
Anyways, I'm glad I picked up the book, I duly enjoyed the turn of the century feel of it. Gribiche takes us to the backstage of a little cabaret in Paris in the early 20th century. There, the revue dancers are the witnesses of a tragedy, a sadly common one for women at the time who fell victim to society's taboos (it's not over as we're reminded by the recent Irish news).
With this short story, Colette was actually the first woman author to write about abortion, 40 odd years before it was legalised in France.

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