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The Modesty of Sodom

by Gustave Guiches
translated by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

Originally published in 1888, The Modesty of Sodom, the outrageous text for which Gustave Guiches (1860-1935) is most remembered, is here presented for the first time in English, in a wonderful translation by Brian Stableford. Still as avant-garde as ever, The Modesty of Sodom is one of the purest and most strident exercises of fin-de-siècle Decadent art. As well as employing colorful exotic terms, the author invents and improvises new ones freely, and the story contains several words found nowhere else, whose meanings have to be inferred from context or etymological analogies. It is a straight-faced black comedy, as the majority of exercises in literary decadence are, and its humor is appropriately scathing in its aggressive but amused assault on moral hypocrisy; it is very much a product of its time, but one which, alas, has by no means lost all its relevance in the historical interim.

In conjunction to the principal text, a second, "The Guardian Shades" is also here presented, again, in its first English language translation.

Cover by Félicien Rops

Published by Snuggly Books in August 2020
ISBN: 978-1-64525-042-5

The Brian Stableford Website