Tuesday, December 13, 2016

BOOK REPORT: Les Liaisons Dangereuses

The Marquise de Merteuil is one of the great anti-heroes of literature and a bold advancement in the name of the feminism, circa 1782. She twists social and sexual repressions of the times to her favor, playing the social manipulation game with slick cunning. There is no doubt that George R.R. Martin drew heavy inspiration from her when creating Cersei Lannister. She seduces everyone around her in person and with her devilish pen, convincing them to do her dirty work by implanting thoughts and motives in their mind so effectively that they become convinced they were their own.

Pierre-Ambroise Choderlos de Laclos's subversive plot revels in scandal and keeps the plot lively as his characters embed themselves deeper into the Marquise's web, as well as that of her seeming ally in deception, the Vicomte de Valmont. The book excels at showing that beauty is evil's most compelling and convincing face, and charisma is its most potent fuel.

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