A Galilaean with long golden hair source of her Greek nickname , Chrysis is proud of her beauty and her skill at winning the devotion and servility of men. Chrysis is the only woman who does not care for him. She presses her desire, so he makes her swear, as he had, to do his bidding, before revealing what it is: to wear the stolen items in public. She does so, appearing on the Lighthouse of Alexandria in the role of Aphrodite, nude and with the items worn as the attributes of the goddess. He then uses her nude body as a model, posing it in the violent attitude in which he had seen her in his dream, to create the statue of Immortal Life.
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Shelves: r-nov-decth-own A little bit of a preamble here, so those looking for a succinct review need to jump down a few paragraphs. First point: when I first started assembling my "reading list" which, for a very long time afterwards was just an endless spreadsheet document with names of books and their authors about odd years ago, and was pilfering all kinds of names of classic and genre lit to add, I came up against a conundrum: was I going to include "erotica", a genre which, at that point in my life I had A little bit of a preamble here, so those looking for a succinct review need to jump down a few paragraphs.
First point: when I first started assembling my "reading list" which, for a very long time afterwards was just an endless spreadsheet document with names of books and their authors about odd years ago, and was pilfering all kinds of names of classic and genre lit to add, I came up against a conundrum: was I going to include "erotica", a genre which, at that point in my life I had little use for?
Oh, no doubt there will be duds here and there as there are in any genres , but my inclusion of potential erotica reads will likely be helped by my overarching focus on, and love for, "non-contemporary" books. Second point: My reading of this books was somewhat hampered by my choice of physical text.
As a short aside, the illustrated version are quite nice, although the Milo Manara artwork - while certainly accomplished - is a bit too, uh, clinically "gynecological" for my tastes, the Georges Bess artwork has a nice "poster art" quality at times and the Claire Wendling artwork is in a darker, more interesting style. A thoroughly enjoyable read! So, as may be seen, this scandalous, phenomenal bestseller of its time is something more than a mere "stroke book.
Which is not to say the overall "erotic" tone is not present - the opening scenes in which Chrysis luxuriates in sleeping late, bathing and performing her daily ablutions and toilette, while admiring and enjoying her body are a masterclass in subtle, tactile, erotic writing - with a sensory evocation of texture, color, surface, light and scent; and a focus on hair, skin, water, perfume, atmosphere, dressing, costume and tinting. The plot is fairly straightforward.
The climax, which I will reveal only in a spoiler space later, involves a reversal of power and a decision to embrace transient beauty over life itself, and how art preserves that beauty in eternal, if dead, form. He is melancholy because he finds that he loves the marble statue of Aphrodite he has sculpted more than his actual lover, the queen, because it is perfect and eternal. His passion for Chrysis undergoes an interesting transformation as the story proceeds, hinging specifically on a detailed, symbolic dream he experiences near the climax.
There are interesting secondary characters and scenes as well even tween Cleopatra shows up for a chapter! The historical setting allows for contrasts between the ancient and modern world, wherein the ancient is seen as more pragmatic regarding sex, sexuality, etc. It is the story of a much-admired though fictional Alexandrian courtesan, in the reign of Berenice II of Egypt i.
Shortly after the novella begins,.