The lasting feeling that his work leaves is one of happiness; not of course in the sense that it excludes suffering, but because, in it, nothing is rejected, resented, or regretted.
—W.H. Auden

The Holy Terrors

Fiction by Jean Cocteau

Translated from the French by Rosamond Lehmann

Cocteau’s novel Les Enfants terribles, which was first published in 1929, holds an undisputed place among the classics of modern fiction. Written in a French style that long defied successful translation––Cocteau was always a poet no matter what he was writing––the book came into its own for English-language readers in 1955 when the present version was completed by Rosamond Lehmann. It is a masterpiece of the art of translation of which The Times Literary Supplement said: “It has the rare merit of reading as though it were an English original.” Miss Lehmann was able to capture the essence of Cocteau’s strange, necromantic imagination and to bring fully to life in English his story of a brother and sister, orphaned in adolescence, who built themselves a private world out of one shared room and their own unbridled fantasies. What started in games and laughter became for Paul and Elisabeth a drug too magical to resist. The crime which finally destroyed them has the inevitability of Greek tragedy.

Editions: PaperbackEbook

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Paperback (published January 19, 1966)

ISBN
9780811200219
Price US
17.95
Price CN
23.95
Page Count
192

Ebook (published January 19, 1966)

ISBN
9780811221412
Price US
17.95

Jean Cocteau

20th century French avant-garde writer, filmmaker and boxing manager

The lasting feeling that his work leaves is one of happiness; not of course in the sense that it excludes suffering, but because, in it, nothing is rejected, resented, or regretted.
—W.H. Auden
One of the master craftsmen.
—Tennessee Williams