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This report is taken from PN Review 41, Volume 11 Number 3, January - February 1985.

The Candlesticks of M. Radiguet David Arkell
The emergence of Radiguet's Diable au corps as one of Blackwell's French Texts (edited by Richard Griffiths, 1983, £4.95) is a well-deserved consecration. It also brings back poignant memories of myself as a teenager in pre-war Arcachon.

I remember, for instance, that elegant librairie - book-shop is too prosaic a term - which displayed in its window a glossy magazine, lying open at a Francis Carco article datelined 'Le Piquey':


We reign like kings on a veranda that smells of pine-needles roasted in the sun. Behind three dunes, whose only imprint is mine of yesterday, the Ocean thunders. My dogs bathe and I bathe. There in the sun I seem to lie back on Time itself.


Well, this sounded much more interesting than where I was, so I asked the bookseller where such a paradise could be found. Le Piquey, he said, was on the other side of the 'Bassin'. If I thought of going there, I had only to take the little steamer: he could recommend the Auberge Chantecler and its proprietor Mme Dourthe.

When I got there I found I was the only visitor. It was May and the season hadn't begun. The Chantecler was a two-storey building of wood, a kind of big green bungalow with its name in gold letters strung out along the balcony. As for Mme Dourthe she was a short stocky woman with black hair, flimsy black skirt and pink chemise Lacoste ...


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