The Story of Venus and Tannhauser

The Story of Venus and Tannhauser - Aubrey Beardsley [These notes were made in 1983:]. 1974 edition of 1896/1907 texts. The story is unfinished, but this book presents amusement and interest on several levels. First, there is the textual problem presented in the Introduction - a classic example of the strange things that happen when prudery enters the picture! Then there are the illustrations - by Beardsley, of course, and nicely reproduced -possessing that peculiarly compelling quality (anything but purity) of deep black against white - sometimes clean and bold, sometimes almost impossibly ornamental. The prose, which is the last of the delights, is similarly baroque: gorgeously sensuous descriptions, whether it be of flowers or sex (the whole thing is squirmingly titillating, but not ultimately satisfying!)