It was with Alexis that, in 1928, Marguerite Yourcenar began her career as a novelist. The book remains one of the stellar literary debuts of the century. Yourcenar has created a moving meditation on the relationship between pleasure and love.
This book would have been utterly dated if it only treated of a gay man who ran away from his wife. Instead, it's a voice portrait of the artist as an introspective young man. The introspection makes it essential Yourcenar, linking Alexis with Emperor Hadrian, Zénon, and Nathanael.
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