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By Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, Douglas Parmée, David Coward

ISBN-10: 019156043X

ISBN-13: 9780191560439

ISBN-10: 0192838679

ISBN-13: 9780192838674

The advanced ethical ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) some of the most scandalous and arguable novels in eu literature. Its leading movers, the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil--gifted, prosperous, and bored--form an unholy alliance and switch seduction right into a online game. and so they play this online game with such wit and magnificence that it's most unlikely to not respect them, until eventually they realize mysterious principles that they can not comprehend. within the resulting conflict there should be no winners, and the blameless endure with the guilty.
This new translation offers Laclos a contemporary voice, and readers can be capable of pass judgement on no matter if the radical is as "diabolical" and "infamous" as its critics have claimed, or even if it has a lot to inform us a few global we nonetheless inhabit

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Tartuffe is punished not for what we have seen him do but for what he is. Laclos believed that this is precisely what he had achieved in his novel: he had mobilized the ‘healthy indignation of the public’ by drawing attention to those who, like Valmont and Merteuil, exploit the no man’s land between what is legal and what is right. Such an argument is clearly a reflection of the moralizing tendency of all Enlightenment literature which required vice to be punished and virtue rewarded. If Laclos was a man of his times, then his novel is no less the product of a specific literary convention.

Such an argument is clearly a reflection of the moralizing tendency of all Enlightenment literature which required vice to be punished and virtue rewarded. If Laclos was a man of his times, then his novel is no less the product of a specific literary convention. By its tone and subject-matter, Les Liaisons dangereuses belongs to the ‘libertine’ tradition of fiction. In common parlance, ‘libertinage’ meant no more than sexual depravity. It was the term adopted by the police to categorize offences which ‘outraged public morality’.

If Valmont is in a sense redeemed in death, Merteuil is hounded without mercy and punished comprehensively, even vindictively. It is as though Laclos, finally wearying of this brawling woman, at last breaks cover, rejoins the men, and restores the dominant masculine order. At bottom, he is no more sympathetic to women than Lord Chesterfield who regarded women ‘as children of a larger growth’, or Dumas père who equated Milady with evil, or Zola who was simply afraid of the female sex. The argument about the degree of Laclos’s feminism has largely displaced the venerable view of Les Liaisons dangereuses as an acutely observed skirmish in the eternal War of the Sexes.

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Les liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, Douglas Parmée, David Coward


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