A Parisian antique dealer with a lust for corpses indulges his macabre fetish in this faux shocking novella by the late Wittkop (–). THE NECROPHILIAC BY GABRIELLE WITTKOP. Last Christmas I decided I was going to buy my mother some books. She has always been a. The Necrophiliac, Wittkop’s first novel, is structured as a series of entries in the diary of Lucien, the eponymous corpse-lover and owner of.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you witrkop to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — The Necrophiliac by Gabrielle Wittkop. The Necrophiliac by Gabrielle Wittkop.

The Necrophiliac

For more than three decades, Lucien — one of the most notorious characters in the history of the novel — has haunted the imaginations of readers around the world.

This new translation introduces readers to a masterpiece of French For more than three decades, Lucien — one of the most notorious characters in the history of the novel — has haunted the imaginations of readers around the world. Paperback91 pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Necrophiliacplease sign up.

Lists with This Book. Dec 08, [P] rated it liked it. Last Christmas I decided I was going to buy my mother some books. She has always been a reader, but I had never really taken any notice of what exactly she read. Indeed, I was put in an absurd, and uncomfortable, situation whereby I found myself having to weigh up whether, for example, a bunch of women being tied to radiators and repeatedly raped was more or less nasty than the slaughter and dismemberment of children.

Where, I asked myself, do these acts sit on the unpleasantness scale? It is The Necrophiliac by Gabrielle Wittkop. Before I move onto discussing just how unpleasant large parts of this little book are, I want to return to something that I wrote in the previous paragraph, something that might strike you as odd or inconsistent.

Well, part of the reason is that I have lately found myself running short on books to read, and have, as a result, turned to more genre fiction, the kind of thing that I have until now not fully explored. Secondly, and more significantly, I was interested in Gabrielle Wittkop herself. Wittkop was a French writer, who married a deserting Nazi, one assumes in order to legitimise and protect him, but also to provide a front for his homosexuality. Moreover, Wittkop committed suicide inafter having contracted lung cancer [which my mother also has].

And I find that attractive, and it made me more sympathetic to her book, it made me see it in light of her desire to not only piss off conventional society, but also exercise her freedom. She certainly had a mean character, I would swear to it. From time to time, she emits a deep gurgling that makes me suspicious. Very, is the short answer. I must admit that I was close to abandoning it after only two or three pages. I was, without exaggeration, holding on by my nails at this point, but what follows will probably stay with me for the rest of my life.

It is truly disgusting, truly gabdielle. There are numerous disturbing, and quite graphic, descriptions of sex with dead people, more than one of whom are children [including a baby].

Confronted with all that, this was the first time in my reading life that I had to becrophiliac a concerted effort, a conscious decision, almost as though it was a test of endurance, to continue with a novel, when it would have been easier for me to have thrown it away from myself.


Perhaps you have a stronger stomach than I do, but I make no apologies for what I have revealed [nor for my squeamishness]. Certainly no review of The Necrophiliac ought to play down its contents.

There is an intentional discrepancy, a kind of disconnect, between the consistently appalling content and the sophisticated style. Wittkop, via Lucien, writes in impressively fluid, elegant sentences, that are reminiscent of Vladimir Nabokov or the great Italian author Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampesdusa.

Lucien is, in fact, almost charming, but certainly intelligent and persuasive company, such that you at times forget that he does, and truly enjoys, unspeakable things. I have actually seen the book referred to as a romance novel, and while that seems something of a stretch it could be said to be a love letter to gabrielke, to the special joys of union with a corpse. It seems to come from the heart of the earth, from the empire where the musky larvae trudge between the roots, where blades of mica gleam like frozen silver, there where the blood of future chrysanthemums wells up, among the dusty peat, the sulphureous mire.

The smell of the dead is that of the return to the cosmos, that of the sublime alchemy. witkop

books, yo.

Another possible problem with The Necrophiliac is that it is just too short, clocking in at under one hundred pages, in a book that is less than standard dimensions.

On this, it is also worth pointing out that Wittkop, as you would expect, only half-heartedly attempts to justify, or give an explanation for, her repugnant creation and how he came to be what he is.

Lucien reveals that his younger self was masturbating [quite innocently, it seems] when he found out that his mother had died, and therefore one could see this as forming in his mind some kind of connection between sex and death.

Do I want to be seen with this? Do I want other people to know that this is what I am reading? Do I, more specifically, want to field questions about it?

Did I enjoy it? Yes, yes I did.

With one or two reservations. View all 5 comments.


Jul 18, Carlos De Eguiluz rated it really liked it. La pedofilia inducida en el taumatismo. Los delirios y esperanza por la muerte de las personas que deseaba. Triste por tener que separarme siempre de los que quiero. Pues la clandestinidad exige unas murallas que protejan del aliento de la tierra y unas cortinas que necropiliac la mirada de los astros.

View all 7 nfcrophiliac. Jul 30, Sam Quixote rated it really liked it. Lucien is an antique dealer, a French gentleman, and a necrophiliac. Each encounter is Lucien is an antique dealer, a French gentleman, and a necrophiliac. Each encounter is described tenderly necrolhiliac the style of a romance novel except that one of the unwilling participants is dead.

Lucien masturbates for the first time shortly before his grandmother tells him his mother has died and that he must say goodbye. As he kisses the corpse of his mother he forever links the two things together — sexuality and death; a bit too convenient, no? I think the reality of the mind of a necrophiliac would be less logical than that to the point that their behaviour and their choices would be unexplainable and utterly confounding to the ordinary person.

Lucien is a fascinating person though. At times he appears strangely normal as he goes about his ordinary daytime life. Wittkop has created an original character in Lucien while gifting him with an eloquent voice that never fails to disturb.


Her writing is truly high quality and necrophiliad book is easy to read for that reason, while being difficult to read because of the subject matter. The Necrophiliac is a morbidly engrossing read that anyone interested in horror or gothic literature might want to check out.

View all 3 comments. Feb 01, Jacob rated it it was amazing Shelves: This story is brought to you by the letter “B,” for “Bombyx. B is for Bombyx. The journals of an erudite and cultured connoisseur of the pleasures dead flesh. A well-spoken monster, perhaps. The real feat here, in this singular entry into the canon of the transgressive French novel, is Gabrielle Wittkop’s ability to entirely withhold judgement.

There’s no reckoning here, no moral, no strong narrative, not even any real attempt to psychoanalyze, compartmentalize, or explain away what is taking place: The sheer frankness coupled with the beautifully-formed prose throughout makes this somehow disturbingly not all that disturbing. It lulls you into accepting its world. Or is this horrific and there’s something wrong with me for accepting it so easily? But despite the ghoulishness of his preoccupations, Lucian’s not really harming anyone besides the bereaved, of course, but we hear nothing about whether or not they even learn that their former loved ones have gone missingso he can begin to sound, as his voice insinuates, really not all so insane as we might desire that he must be.

May gabroelle, Anita Dalton rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Necrophiliac covers new ground for me. Though there are details in this book that lend themselves well to readers looking for a nasty wallow, this is, at its core, a romantic book about doomed love. Lucien, the narrator and diarist, is less interested in decay but it does not deter him.

He is a romantic necrophile, genuinely drawn to specific dead people. He has no sexual or age preference, rather concentrating on specific people who are compelling to him.

His relationships are, by the natur The Necrophiliac covers new ground for me. Wittkopp relationships are, by the nature of his paraphilia, short term, and he mourns the loss of neccrophiliac romantic partner as their decay takes them away from him.

He experiences a complete breakdown during his last affair and it feels very much like Lucien planned it that way, tiring of wittkoop life wherein those he loves will always be taken from him within days or weeks of discovering them. In his diary, Lucien, who is a wealthy antiques dealer, describes in detail his love affairs with dead people. He has just enough charm and self-control to be able to move about in society without revealing his true nature, but he also seems to be creepy enough that his cleaning ladies remarked that he smelled like a vampire.

Lucien is very expressive, and it was especially interesting how, for him, the dead had vastly different personalities. That sentence seemed odd to me as I typed it because my first impulse is to think that the dead have personalities.

We just imbue the corpse with the traits we knew it possessed when it was alive. A cadaver has no more personality than a chair.

His specific sexual desire permits him to attribute what he believes are the individual motivations of the dead.