The Quest for Fictionality: Prostitution and Metatextuality in Rachilde’s Monsieur Vénus

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      This article considers the theme of prostitution in the decadent writings of the fin-de-siecle French author, Rachilde. It proposes that an analysis of this critically-neglected trope of her work reveals new connections between the erotics and aesthetics of her fiction. As a vector for considering tensions between fantasy and truth, and illusion and reality, prostitution, in Rachilde's texts, invites us to reflect on two of the most common cultural manifestations of decadence: sexual non-conformism and the cult of artifice. The article focuses in particular on the (male) prostitute-body of Monsieur Venus, arguing that, in its transcendence of nature, reality and utilitarian purpose, it is elevated to the status of art in Rachilde's fictional world.

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      • The Quest for Fictionality: Prostitution and Metatextuality in Rachilde’s Monsieur Vénus

        Rights statement: Modern Languages Open (2015) © Liverpool University Press This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited.

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      Original languageEnglish
      Number of pages13
      JournalModern Languages Open
      Journal publication date18 May 2015
      StatePublished - 18 May 2015

      ID: 13814307