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Jealousy: The Other Life of Catherine M.

Catherine Millet.
Publisher Grove  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 0.75 inches
ISBN 9780802119155
Pages/Publication Date 185/2008
Daedalus Item Code 32465
This item is not available.
French art critic Catherine Millet's erotic memoir The Sexual Life of Catherine M. was an audacious and closely examined exposé of the many forms and flavors of sexual pleasure, although it left readers wondering how she managed to exercise such freedom while sustaining her relationship with her life partner, writer Jacques Henric. "I had love at home," she explained. "I sought only pleasure in the world outside." Then one day she discovered a letter in their apartment, from which it became clear that Jacques was involved with someone else. Jealousy details the crisis provoked by this discovery and her reaction to it—the paradoxical confession of a libertine who succumbs to the "timeless and universal malady."

"[The author of] The Sexual Life of Catherine M. follows up with a somewhat similarly salacious, achingly candid, though more rueful chronicle of how she felt after discovering her longtime partner's pattern of philandering. Opening an envelope one day on his desk in their shared Paris apartment, Millet discovered that he had taken naked pictures of another woman; once on the scent, she sifted through his notebooks finding numerous instances of his having slept with other women. The irony here is that the author is a self-described libertine. She had been open to taking on lovers outside of her committed relationship with novelist Jacques Henric since before they even began living together, back when she wrote art criticism in the late 1970s. In fact, she prided herself on her availability, becoming a floating, flexible body at the pleasure of others, with several relationships on the go at once. Discovering the truth about Jacques precipitated a physical sea change: already a practiced masturbator and voyeur, Millet filled in the details of Jacques's infidelity with a masochistic pleasure and self-abasement, even prompting him about details and scouring his novels for clues. Her jealousy became an addiction, and over almost three years the crisis endured, during which the couple kept a bruising tally of grief. Millet is a closely detailed, unflinching self-scrutinizer."—Publishers Weekly

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