Thumbs up for Gigi and The Cat by Colette. Literature.
When I was young I knew a woman who, disliking the name she was born with, changed her name to Colette in honor of the author. At the time I was too young to even wonder what sort of writer would be worthy of such an honor. Well, having at last read Colette, I can safely say: She is worthy of it. Of the two short novels in this volume, Gigi is sort-of romance of acerbic, observant wit that reminded me of, if anyone, Austen. The Cat, a story of a love triangle between a young man, his new bride, and his cat, is more ambiguous in tone, ironically because the human characters are so truly human and intimately drawn that it’s hard to fully sympathize with either of them, or, alternatively, hate either of them. But that is its genius.
“The next moment, the heir of Lachaille-Sugar was deep in the game. His prominent nose, large enough to appear false, and his slightly negroid eyes did not in the least intimidate his opponent. With her elbows on the table, her shoulders on a level with her ears, and her blue eyes and red cheeks at their most vivid, she looked like a tipsy page. They both played passionately, almost in silence, exchanging occasional insults under their breath. ‘You spindly spider! You sorrel run to seed!’ Lachaille muttered. ‘You old crow’s beak!’ the girl countered. The March twilight deepened over the narrow street.”
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