The Puzzling Return of a Vitriolic Rant


The Third SexThe Third Sex
by Willy 
Translated by Lawrence R. Scher
University of Illinois Press
140 pages, $35


IF HENRI GAUTHIER-VILLARS (1859–1931), a prolific theater critic and jack of all literary trades who published much of his work under the penname Willy, is remembered at all today, especially in the U.S., it is as the domineering first husband of Colette who locked her in a room for several hours a day until she produced the next installment of one of her Claudine novels, which he then published under his own name. (She divorced him in 1906 and laid claim to her creations.)


Richard M. Berrong, professor of French at Kent State University, is the author of In Love with a Handsome Sailor, a gay reading of the novels of Pierre Loti.


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