La Garçonne – Victor Margueritte

La Garçonne

Monique Lerbier is my ultimate heroine. On knowing that her fiancée fathered a child with another woman, a forlorn Monique endures an extreme makeover. She walks off from her disloyal fiancée and her traditional family and flees to Paris. Coming into her own, the wild child dons a tomboyish attire, smokes, utilizes trance preparations, indulges into a bisexual acts through several lesbian mistresses and dances nights away at the local jazz clubs. Monique reeks of sheer rebellion and liberation, making her extremely enticing to me.

La Garconne /The Bachelor Girl (English trans.by Alfred Knopf), is an engrossing story of Monique Lerbier. Set in the 1920s, it is the earliest lesbian fiction of the post-war(1917-1921) French literature. The original French manuscript includes 28-pages of colored stencil drawings by Kees Van Dongen; depicting the radical transformation of a gallant and independent fashionista. I treasured the portrayal of Monique by the classic French actress Marie Bell in the 1936 film adaptation.

There are numerous fictional feminine characters I admire, but Monique is simply my true love.

5/5*****

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