COLETTE: A Taste for Life by Yvonne Mitchell

COLETTE: A Taste for Life

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That constant charmer who ""lived through her five senses"" (a remark truthfully if carelessly repeated on the first two pages) reappears in a biography which is more graceful than Margaret Crosland's two almost identical works which were compact if unexciting. This book is of course immeasurably enhanced by the 83 illustrations which catch Colette's wistful, affectionate, mobile moods from childhood on while one reads with equal interest about her marriage to the much older, distasteful, ""not huge. . . bulbous"" Willy who was so dishonest, exploitative and unfaithful. Follow her through the ambiguous Missy relationship and the music hall years; the second marriage to conventional, successful, often disapproving, Henry de Jouvenel who commented on her ""monstrous simplicity""; and finally to the last years in which she was so devotedly attended by Goudeket, since she was confined by the war, crippled and bedridden by her arthritis. The novels are justly, lightly analyzed by Yvonne Mitchell--also an actress, also a novelist--in full appreciation of her talent to reproduce a whole life of sentiment and sensation with ""a classic economy of style, the unveiling of a world of meaning in a sentence."" A lovely retrospective to be viewed through a haze of affectionate nostalgia for this seductive, elusive, indomitable woman who spent a lifetime ""dreaming before a white page, scribbling unconsciously, letting [her] pen play around a blot of ink and nibble at a half-formed word. . ."" --always the right one.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1975
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich