The Only Beautiful Woman…

… is the title of my newest translated story, published yesterday by The Brooklyn Rail inTranslation. You can read the story online: go to the website, scroll down to the translator’s note (that’s me, of course) then click on “click here to read”. You’ll then be able to enjoy The Only Beautiful Woman by Catulle Mendès, originally “La Belle du Monde” in his collection Les Oiseaux bleus.

Like Perrault and the Grimm brothers, Mendès was a great creator of fairies. In “The Only Beautiful Woman” the incurable selfishness of humans is embodied in a trifling, time-wasting princess who frightens even the mirrors that reflect her beauty.

Image from

Image from “L’Illustration”, no. 3240, 1 April 1905

I’m very grateful to The Brooklyn Rail inTranslation editors for publishing my work, especially since this is my second appearance in their journal. In 2015 they published my translation of Madame Gorgibus by Jean Lorrain, another story in which one character suffers from another’s selfishness. But Mme Gorgibus never sees the victory of good over evil; her story is less of a comedy than Mendès’ little tale in which mirth predominates and the ending is happy.

I invite you to read these tales; they’re old and short but memorable! If you enjoy them please let me know.

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3 thoughts on “The Only Beautiful Woman…

  1. Patricia, I love your translation of The Only Beautiful Woman. Such a wonderful story; nice choice. I started thinking about your work after your post about your translation of Joseph Olenin’s Coat, back in April. I also noticed the nice words the editors had to say about that work, but I confess I never got around to reading it. Now I want to. Please keep sharing these, I’m hooked.

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  2. Thanks so much for reading my translation. If you’d like to read “Joseph Olenin’s Coat”, it’s in the Spring issue of The Cossack Review. It’s about a man who falls in love with a coat.

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  3. Pingback: The Enchanted Ring | Sounds like wish

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