I had to read this short story/novella as a companion piece to studying Queer Theory. It's one of Balzac's most read text nowadays, ever since Roland Barthes wrote his S/Z around it. The story focuses on a contemporary retelling of the Pygmalion myth, but with a twist: here we get an artist adoring a man who he thinks is a woman, a castrato in fact. Through a good use of zooming in - 'myse en abyme' - Balzac makes Sarrasine intriguing to the end and in the process provides a lot of food for Queer thought.
21 June 2007
Stichting Voetnoot, 2006
Oorspronkelijke titel Sarrasine, 1830
Vertaald door Rokus Hofstede & Jan Pieter van der Sterre