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Lilith’s Legacy

by Renée Vivien
translated by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

Bringing together four entire collections of the prose poems and short stories of the lesbian Symbolist “Renée Vivien” (Pauline Mary Tarn, 1877-1909), the current volume is compromised predominately of works which have never before appeared in English. It is as much by virtue of her idiosyncrasies as because of her considerable artistry that Pauline Tarn/Renée Vivien was, and remains, an extremely interesting figure. She had the rare privilege of combining a very considerable technical skill and intellectual brilliance with a vivid and versatile imagination and a literary standpoint that was unique in its day. That standpoint remains unusual even now, although historical circumstances have become much more hospitable to its potential appreciation in the last quarter of a century and her work is certainly more likely to find a sympathetic and understanding audience today than ever before.

Renée Vivien” (Pauline Mary Tarn, 1877-1909) was introduced into Symbolist circles by one of her lovers, Natalie Barney, but produced the bulk of her work while in a relationship with Hélène de Zuylen de Nyevelt, with whom she collaborated on a number of books under the pseudonym Paule Riversdale. Under her usual pseudonym she published two volumes of prose poems and two further volumes of prose as well as the numerous volumes of poetry that helped to make her notorious as a kind of tragic symbolic embodiment of the Belle Époque: a neurotic, anorexic, alcoholic, suicidal lesbian doomed to self-destruction.

The four collections in this volume are: Fjord Mists, From Green to Violet, The She-Wolf Lady, and Christ, Aphrodite and Monsieur Pépin.

Published by Snuggly Books in July 2018
ISBN: 978-1-943813-63-6

The Brian Stableford Website