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DiaboliquesSix Tales of Decadence$
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Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816696895

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816696895.001.0001

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date: 26 May 2020

Happiness in Crime

Happiness in Crime

In this delicious era of ours, when you hear a true story, you have to assume that the Devil dictated it.

Chapter:
(p.75) Happiness in Crime
Source:
Diaboliques
Author(s):

Jules Barbey D’aurevilly

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816696895.003.0004

Another elaborately framed tale, this one is about an adulterous couple obsessed with fencing, with each other, and with murder. There is a love triangle, consisting of an aristocratic husband, his reserved dignified wife, and a young girl who is the daughter of a fencing master in the nearby town. In the story the girl disguises herself as a servant of her lover, and the two plot the murder of the wife. The wife, a duchess, knows what is going on, but, following her profound adherence to aristocratic convention, would rather die than reveal it, for the sake of family honor. The frame involves the narrator struggling to accept the ethical implications of his tale; as such, this is Barbey’s most Jamesian work. The story is about twenty-one thousand words in length.

Keywords:   adulterous couple, murder, love triangle, aristocratic convention, family honor, ethical, Jamesian work, fencing

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