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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Devil in the Flesh(1922) by Raymond Radiguet

Book Review
The Devil in the Flesh (1922)
 by Raymond Radiguet

   This book was an early example of 20th century style romantic teenage art, before teenagers existed.  The Devil in the Flesh is about an aimless 17 year old from a suburb outside Paris, who begins a torrid affair with the young wife of a soldier fighting for France during World War I. Radiguet was himself a teenager when The Devil in the Flesh was written.  He only wrote one more book before dying young, of typhoid, in his early twenties.   The Devil in the Flesh makes for a fast read, only one hundred pages or so in normal paperback format, the version I read, an English import, had a smaller page layout and went a full 180 pages.

  The love affair between the teen protagonist and the soldiers wife is a tragic one, but not to the main character, whose self absorption and yearning for absent parental disciplines foreshadows a half century of the depiction of youth in American popular culture and art.

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