The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

July 6, 2017

July 6, 1930

Françoise Mallet-Joris ( July 6, 1930 to August 13, 2016, is the pseudonum of Françoise-Eugénie-Julienne Lilar. Her mother, Suzanne Lilar was also a writer, her father a minister in the Belgium government.

An article in the Encyclopedia Britannica sketches her life.

Françoise Mallet-Joris, ...
[was] one of the leading contemporary exponents of the traditional French novel of psychological love analysis.

We must take the English here cautiously. By "love analysis" nothing is meant comparable to the silly romance novels popular among Americans. 

.....[A]t age 19 she won unanimous critical approval with her novel Le Rempart des béguines (1951; The Illusionist, also published as Into the Labyrinth and The Loving and the Daring), the story of an affair between a girl and her father’s mistress, described with clinical detachment in a sober, classical prose. A sequel, La Chambre rouge (1953; The Red Room), and a book of short stories, Cordélia (1956; Cordelia and Other Short Stories), continued in the detached manner of her first novel, but her style changed with Les Mensonges (1956; House of Lies), which told of the struggle between a dying businessman and his illegitimate daughter, who remains true to her mother.

.... She turned to the historical novel with Les Personnages (1960; The Favourite), about the intrigues of Cardinal de Richelieu with regard to the love life of King Louis XIII, and with Marie Mancini le premier amour de Louis XIV (1964; The Uncompromising Heart: A Life of Marie Mancini, Louis XIV’s First Love). Bluntly candid about herself, Mallet-Joris revealed much of her personal life, her inner conflicts and her religious quests—she became a Roman Catholic convert—in her autobiographical writings, Lettre à moi-même(1963; A Letter to Myself) and La Maison de papier (1970; The Paper House).

This last  sketches her husbands, children, and cats, like Taxi.

...... She also wrote a biography of Jeanne Guyon (1978), the 17th-century French mystic. Mallet-Joris’s writings reveal a richness and abundance of detail and colour that is reminiscent of those of Honoré de Balzac or of the paintings of the Flemish masters. ....

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