Reading: Cheri, by Colette.
Listening: Infant Kiss, by Kate Bush.
Finished. This story unfolded like a flower: a tight little bud, gently stretching and ruffling open it’s lovely pink petals until at last the giant bloom, followed almost immediately by its sharp withering.
So much of what I have read about Cheri has focused almost entirely on the sensational age difference between its two lovers, Cheri and Lea, but for me, age is not the root of their tension. Instead, I read them as characters ruled by fear. Lea is afraid of getting older; Cheri is afraid he never will, and they both are afraid of letting on to the other how desperately in love they actually are. My heart stretches out toward them in all of their skirting around the issue, until the last few pages, in which they allow their truth to unravel–and quickly dissipate their relationship.
A friend asked me how I liked this book, and all I could think of was the gasp I let out as I read the last sentence. It had been an exclamation of supreme satisfaction. After so many pages of greedily holding back, and containing her little story, Colette lets loose, with stark honesty, the heartbreaking conclusion to Cheri’s love affair.
And I must say, the movie is quite lovely!