Creating Colette - Vol. 1

Creating Colette - Vol. 1

Creating Colette - Vol. 1

Creating Colette - Vol. 1

Synopsis

The provocative, audacious, sometimes scandalous Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette was one of the century's great writers &, as we learn from Claude Francis & Fernande Gontier in their exhaustively researched biography, her finest creation may have been herself - or her many selves, for throughout her life Colette would recreate herself again & again. In this first of two volumes, Colette's "sheer curiosity about life is rewarded by her biographers' curiosity about her own" (Times Literary Supplement), & "the wealth of detail gives this the hallmark of a definitive biography" (Publishers Weekly).

Excerpt

They have of me an old stereotype image," complained Colette at the end of her life. a genius at self-promotion, Colette had become the mythical figure she and a collective act of faith had created.

Until World War II, the literary and social circles of Paris had applauded Colette's refulgent personality. a writer who mocked clichés on all subjects, she blazed a trail of scandals and never recognized sexuality, matrimony, or motherhood in their traditional apparel. Colette's first transformation occurred during World War II, when the Vichy government presented military defeat as retribution for sins and held the corruption of urban high society responsible. Colette went from high-society corrupt darling to rustic madonna, and in spite of her own assertions that her grandfather was "a quadroon," she downplayed her African ancestry and became pure Burgundian. the stereotype of Colette as a country girl was in place.

After the war, de Gaulle stressed the grandeur of France, while André Malraux, minister of culture, stressed that the greatness of France was best reflected in the greatness of her writers. Colette became an icon.

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