Black Venus by Angela Carter

 

Self-initiated project.

The titular short story is of Baudelaire and his mistress, Jeanne Duval, the 'Black Venus', who resided in Paris in the mid-late 19th century. No one knows for sure where Duval was born - perhaps Mauritius, or perhaps the Dominican Republic, but certainly somewhere exotic and most likely to the descendents of French-colonial slaves.

 

A particular passage, in a sarcastically romantic turn of phrase, describes the manner by which Duval made her way across the ocean to France - on a scallop-shell, accompanied by Albatrosses. Her medallion necklace depicts an18th century ship, symbolising her grandmother's journey in the opposite direction, most likely in chains.

Click to enlarge.

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