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  1. necrophiliac - Wiktionary
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necrophiliac - Wiktionary

And yet he is the protagonist of one of the 20th century's acknowledged classics. There are superficial similarities with the diarist of The Necrophiliac: There is also the daring challenge to the reader: Wittkop, whose first novel this was published when she was 52, in ; never before translated into English, amazingly certainly seems, from the little I know about her, to be the kind of writer who enjoyed freaking out her audience. I can imagine her, in an idle moment, wondering how to shock the petit bourgeoisie, thinking "Ah!

But there is more to this than mere outrage, that's clear from the start.


As with Nabokov, the comedy comes from the difference between how our narrator writes and what he gets up to. And you can see Wittkop, deadpan, wondering what she can get away with next — rather like Lucien. This would be a poor and revolting little book fewer than pages, which is quite enough, really if it did not have such a poised tone and sensibility, such intelligence, behind it.

Or if it sheltered itself, in cowardly fashion, behind allegory.

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It is the apotheosis of sick humour, the kind that makes us both laugh and confront things we would normally rather not. Lucien sees a man violating a very ugly dead nun on an altar: I was, like Orwell's imaginary reader, determined at first not to be impressed.

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But I very quickly was. This is a masterpiece. Topics Fiction Nicholas Lezard's choice.

Order by newest oldest recommendations. The deriving of sexual gratification from fantasies or acts involving a corpse. Corpses necrophilia necrophilism necrophily -Phile, -Philia, -Phily -philiac.