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Decadent Prose Pieces

by Léo Trézenik
translated by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

Proses Décadentes by "Léo Trézenik" (Léo Épinette, 1855-1902), here published in its first-ever appearance English as Decadent Prose Pieces, in a fabulous translation by Brian Stableford, was one of the first volumes to advertise itself brazenly as a contribution to a nascent Decadent Movement, albeit ironically and in jest--an irony and humor entirely appropriate to the spirit of the school in question.

Replete with black comedy, essentially playful and provocative in its self-indulgent perversity and licentiousness, and quite similar in tone to Joris-Karl Huysmans' prose vignettes, collected in Le Drageoir aux épices (1874) and Croquis parisiens (1880), which likewise came to be seen retrospectively as crucial contributions to the revitalization of the "prose poem," Trézenik's collection, though largely ignored by literary historians, is exemplary in its Decadence. Being at once very Parisian and distinctly splenetic, its light touch is that of the steely forefinger of an important pioneer of the fin-de-siècle Decadent Movement.

Cover by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Published by Snuggly Books in May 2020
ISBN: 978-1-64525-028-9

The Brian Stableford Website