Chéri, first published in 1920, is considered Colette’s finest novel. Exquisitely handsome, spoilt and sardonic, Chéri is the only son of a wealthy courtesan, a contemporary of Léa, the magnificent and talented woman who for six years has devoted herself to his amorous education.
When a rich marriage is arranged for Chéri, Léa reluctantly decides their relationship must end. Chéri, despite his apparent detachment, is haunted by memories of Léa; alienated from his wife, his family and his surroundings, he retreats into a fantasy world made up of dreams and the past, a world from which there is only one route of escape.
In her portrait of the fated love affair between a very young man and a middle-aged woman, Colette achieved a peak in her earthy, sensuous and utterly individual art. Chéri caused considerable controversy both in its choice of setting – the fabulous demi-monde of the Parisian courtesans – and in its portrayal of Chéri.
“The Jerusalem Post review of the new Hebrew-language publication of Cheri and the launch at the French Embassy Cultural Center”.
“”Cheri” is a controversial novel about a mature woman’s love affair with a much young lover. Controversial too is the heroine’s fear of old age.”
“Her sensual prose style made her one of the great writers of twentieth-century France.”
“A perfectionist in her every word.”
“I devoured Chéri at a gulp. What a wonderful subject and with what intelligence, mastery and understanding of the least-admitted secrets of the flesh.”
“Everything that Colette touched became human… She was a complete sensualist; but she gave herself up to her senses with such delicacy of perception, with such exquisiteness of physical...