RARA-AVIS: RE : Re: Perfume

From: E. Borgers ( webeurop@yahoo.fr)
Date: 12 Feb 2008

  Just a few words about the novel: it was written in German, NOT in French as said in a previous message here. The first publication of the novel occured in Switzerland IIRC.
  By one of these coincidences we cannot invent, a friend gave me a few days ago the DVD of the film I never watched before.I intend to watch it nowand when done I'll give you my own evaluation about it.

DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net a 飲it :
          Sonny asked:

"has anyone read Perfume by Patrick Susskind? i have not, but am interested in what those who have thought of it."

I read it shortly before the movie came out. I never saw the movie, but that's not really the fault of the book, which I liked for what it was. It was a dark, gothic piece about a horrid little man whose greatly enhanced sense of smell (which at one point leads him to go off into the wilderness in order to deal with the overwhelming smells of humanity) led him to be one of the greatest perfumers ever, mostly behind the scenes, since he is so horrid. And that horridness is not confined to his looks, as he compiles a collection of the smells of particular females; he is not at all concerned that the women must die in order to give up their scents.

I enjoyed the book. It's a dark read, but I wouldn't call it noir. The language is far too flowery to be noir in my mind, and the French Renaissance setting also precludes it in my mind. Although the dark city streets here are quite nasty, I guess I require them to be paved for it to be noir.

I highly doubt it's based on a true story, since it is borderline fantastical in its treatment of the distillation of human scents. Though the perfumers' art seems well researched, his perverse application seems to cross the line into the fantastic, not that someone would try, that I totally buy, but that someone might succeed.

And, although it was set in France, it was written in German, as Das Parfum.



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