Vuille Nancy-Marie (André Gladès) – The Sterile Sacrifice
Vuille Nancy-Marie (André Gladès) – The Sterile Sacrifice: Ulric comes to live in the domain of his deceased father and discovers Switzerland and his campaign, happy to be in this peaceful environment. But, while visiting the castle next to the farm, he meets Mahaut, a young girl taken away from her grandfather. They fall naturally in love, but Ulric is already engaged and will not be able to get rid of these ties of family and money. He will never have the courage to confess his love for Mahaut to his fiancée, to avoid a planned marriage. Mahaut will not be able to escape this impossible love either, and will always try to understand Ulric, even if he isolates himself and suffers in silence.
At the end of the novel, the addition of fragments of the Journal de Mahaut brings us into his intimacy and reveals a part of revolt against male cowardice, but a consented submission and acceptance of his sad loneliness.
The Sterile Sacrifice is the third novel by Nancy-Marie Vuille, born in 1867, student of Edouard Rod, who took the male pseudonym of André Gladès to write three novels that precede the news Florence Monneroy and the Chance that the BNR has already published.
Despite this somewhat forbidding title, this novel from 1901 is not part of the Swiss-French movement of the time, often moralizing and very “local color”. Rather, it is inspired by 19th century English novels, such as the Brontë sisters, where “the woman acquires an awareness that allows her to reveal the alienation in which she lives and perpetuates” (Daniel Maggetti, pre of the 1988 edition, Morges, Cabédita)