Review of The Necrophiliac by Gabrielle Wittkop
An enchanting and disturbing novella.
Not as haunting as Story of the Eye but nearly as daring. The title says it all. We are afforded the detailed and poetic perspective of a dastardly protagonist with a taboo kink. What elevates this unique premise are the rich and profound meditations on death, mingling grotesque descriptions with sensual linguistic flair. I can’t imagine such a premise ever being executed better. Parts read like Baudelaire, and the absence of other meaningful characters allow the strange obsession with bombyx and the delights of the senses to take hold of the reader as they do the protagonist. The repetition and metaphors ring true. How else could the author imagine such scenes except through her own strangely morbid sensibilities? Whether she carefully researched a state of mind or exercised her rarified imagination, the result is an aesthetically breathtaking plummet into the abyss of perversion. Each encounter with varied and quirky corpses is guaranteed to leave a memorable taste in your mouth.
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