Biography Jules Amédée Barbey D’Aurevilly
Biography Jules Amédée Barbey D'Aurevilly
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly (1808 - 1889) is a unique figure in French literature of the 19th century. Young Barbey d'Aurevilly was a Parisian dandy, attending events of the high society.
From the 17th to 19th century, those kinds of events named salons became an important part of the French literary life.
He led a dissolute life, losing himself in parties and pleasures. His friends even gave him the unflattering nickname of "King of the ribauds" (an old French word which describes a person who likes luxury and extravagance).
When he was about forty years old, he had a crisis of inspiration. Barbey d'Aurevilly returned to Catholicism in a move that renewed with inspiration and he published one of the largest Catholic and mystical books, The Diabolical Women. However, when The Diabolical Women was published, copies were immediately confiscated and the author was prosecuted for "insulting public decency and morality.
Indeed, evil, passions, and sadism blossomed in those dark pages. The fact is that Barbey d'Aurevilly wanted to show the passions "as such he has seen". He defended himself by saying that "Catholicism is nothing prudish". It is "the Science of the Good and the Evil" and that his goal was to show "not only the exaggeration of passion, but its slavery."
Barbey d'Aurevilly is also known for his work as a critic. Fierce and independent, he is the only one who dared criticize Victor Hugo, an untouchable figure of French literature.