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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: 27 May 2020

Beneath the Cards in a Game of Whist

Beneath the Cards in a Game of Whist

Chapter:
(p.123) Beneath the Cards in a Game of Whist
Source:
Diaboliques
Author(s):

Jules Barbey D’aurevilly

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816696895.003.0005

This is the first of the stories that Barbey wrote, and it involves narrative frames within frames again, each frame in itself peopled with intriguing, often decadent characters. The story leads up to a horrific set of events involving mother-daughter rivalry and infanticide. As fencing was an obsession to the townspeople in “Happiness in Crime,” the obsession here is with the game of whist, a game played compulsively by a set of aristocrats whose time has passed. The story is set in post-Napoleonic Normandy again, among a set of nobles who have returned from their flight during the Revolution, and as such it is a glimpse into a class and a place and time rarely described, with the political situation and the moral one illuminating each other. This story is about nineteen thousand words in length.

Keywords:   Barbey d’Aurevilly, narrative frames, mother-daughter rivalry, infanticide, whist, aristocrats, post-Napoleonic Normandy, Revolution, political situation, morals

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