A Virgin Heart (de Gourmont, 1921)
A VIRGIN HEART
REMY DE GOURMONT
NICHOLAS L. BROWN
The author had thought of qualifying this book: A Novel Without Hypocrisy; but he reﬂected that these words might appear unseemly, since hypocrisy is becoming more and more fashionable.
He next thought of: A Physiological Novel; but that was still worse in this age of great converts, when grace from on high so opportunely purifies the petty human passions.
These two sub-titles being barred, nothing was left; he has therefore put nothing.
A novel is a novel. And it would be no more than that if the author had not attempted, by an analysis that knows no scruples, to reveal in these pages what may be called the seamy side of a 'virgin heart,' to show that innocence has its instincts, its needs, its physiological dues.
A young girl is not merely a young heart, but a young human body, all complete.
Such is the subject of this novel, which must, in spite of everything, be called 'physiological.'