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The Shackle

by Colette

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Seduced by a man with whom she has nothing in common except physical attraction, our heroine is betrayed. Colette, the woman who wrote from a feminine perspective (note: *not* feminist), led a life of independence and sexual liberation. She considered this book something of a failure. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
After retiring from the stage, 36 year old Renee finds herself a friendless 'old maid'. She is neither rich nor poor, ugly nor beautiful, just someone who is accustomed to picking up and moving to a new city and hotel with no one to meet her there. She falls in with a group in Nice that consists of a pretty young woman, the lover who beats her and his opium-addicted weirdo friend. When the young lover begins paying attention to Renee she tries to resist but he arouses the long-dormant need to belong.

Colette has a reputation for writing about sex, or sensuality, but her writing has just a normal tone for the modern reader. She doesn't focus on sex, at least in this book or the previous work I've read, but it isn't ignored either. Her characters aren't prim and awkward towards each other but instead expect sex and living together to be a part of a relationship. As this book was written 100 years ago and lacks a moral character, it must have drawn attention to the female author, but Colette's talent is in the emotional inner dialogue of Renee, who has been alone for so long. ( )
  mstrust | Apr 17, 2013 |
The Shackle by Colette. This book is the sequel to The Vagabond,but it is not necessary to the read The Vagabond to make heads or tails of The Shackle.

After a disastrous marriage to a abusive and unfaithful husband (modeled on Colette's actual first husband), and then letting a opportunity to marry a prosperous bourgeois, one who was too good a thing, go by, Renee Nere is at loose ends. Accentuating this feeling of being neither here nor there, she has inherited money and, therefore, chucked her music hall career. Essentially celibate, mostly cynical, and and always careful, she has found her own watchfulness and fastidiousness to be a shackle. She is weary, actually really sick, of the dubious companionship she has formed with a group of degenerate types who frequent the popular resort towns of the Riviera...and she is especially sick of herself. Then, despite her best efforts to resist, she succumbs to passion and an affair with a man she had formerly treated with casual disdain. How does a part time cynic fall in love? Can one? This analysis of Renee's coming to understand her own erotic nature and coming to terms with love is beautifully, and even humorously, written. As is typical of Colette, the style is voluptuous,languorous, sensuous. Can a book be yummy? The tone and resolution of The Shackle is less dreary than that of The Vagabond, which while an excellent book, I sometimes found wearisome. Reading The Shackle, I never once wanted to throttle Renee, which I can't say for The Vagabond. ( )
  lucybrown | Jul 17, 2008 |
The Booksellor claimed this was 1st ed UK 1964 and from the title page which also says translation copyright by Antonia Fraser that appears to be the case. Amazon UK suggest an earlier edition in 1963, same publisher but details were sketchy and it had an ISBN no. which is impossible for a UK book of 1963. The University of Montreal Library also has this 1964 ed but not the 1963. I will have to do some more research I guess.
  bhowell | Sep 10, 2007 |
this had a lot of live up to, being the sequel to the vagabond, which is one of my very favorite colette books (yes, better than the claudine books), one i have a personal, not critic-eyeballing attachment to. and still given that, it was quite good.
  ifjuly | Aug 3, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Coletteprimary authorall editionscalculated
White, AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It is not the calm circle of light thrown by a lamp lit every night on the same table that shows a woman what little she can perceive of herself: yet by changing the table, the lamp and the room, what have I acquired?
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Also translated as "The captive".
Also translated as "The shackle".
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