Read La beauté sans vertu by Genevieve Valentine Online

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"La beauté sans vertu" by Genevieve Valentine is a vicious little swipe at the fashion industry as certain disturbing trends are amplified in the future and a famous fashion House prepares for an important show....

Title : La beauté sans vertu
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 30041193
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 20 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

La beauté sans vertu Reviews

  • karen
    2018-08-23 02:50

    There should always be more to look at than anyone can catch, that sense of being doomed to miss something wonderful; that’s how a presentation becomes a show.i had really high hopes for this one. when its summary promised a vicious little swipe at the fashion industry, and it opens with this intriguing passage about how models in this story's world are surgically altered to make them more appealing, i figured i was in for a dark journey about unrealistic standards of beauty and the lengths people will go to achieve perfection:These days they use arms from corpses—age fourteen, oldest, at time of death. The couture houses pay for them, of course (the days of grave-robbing are over, this is a business), but anything over fourteen isn’t worth having. At fourteen, the bones have most of the length you need for a model, with a child’s slender ulna, the knob of the wrist still standing out enough to cast a shadow.The graft scars are just at the shoulder, like a doll’s arm. The surgeons are artists, and the seams are no wider than a silk thread. The procedure’s nearly perfect by now, and the commitment of the doctors is respected. Models’ fingertips always go a little black, tending to the purple; no one points it out.and while the story does certain things really well, i think as a piece it's unsuccessful - it doesn't make its point clearly enough. it goes back to what i was saying about The Girl Who Sang Rose Madder - that is a story. this one is more like a trinket - it's a craft project where a bunch of things are collaged but nothing's really lying flat.because there are a number of storylines here: there's the story of the fashion show; covering the treatment of the models, the protesters, the preparation, and the vision of the enigmatic coordinator rhea, but then there's also the fairy tale of The Princess of Roses and Diamonds (which i think is actually perrault's Diamonds and Toads) that keeps popping up throughout the story.the fashion parts are excellent - she really captures the silliness and oddness of the fashion industry and its emphasis upon spectacleThe idea is the ringing of a bell, which starts with a single tone being struck and builds in its echoes until every strike becomes a symphony. One girl will walk out first, then two closer behind one another, then four. It should build until every outfit can be seen perfectly and in full only at the first turn. The reveal is precious and fleeting, and isn’t meant to last.and the self-important gushing of the fashion press“This collection is going to be such an amazing statement about the cultural position of the industry.”and the darker, uglier side of the business, where the cruelty of silk production is juxtaposed against the treatment of the models.Eventually the choreographer gives up on trying to explain the vision to a bunch of girls who can’t even walk on the right beat, and he resorts to a cap gun, fired twice at each model as she passes the first turn to give her the metronome ticks of her stride. The shape of things visibly improves, but they spend another hour after that on quiet faces, because for a bunch of girls who claim they’re professional, they flinch like you wouldn’t believe.but she also romanticizes some of the process - making a model into a star by fabricating mystique, a tragic and triumphant backstory worthy of an olympic athlete for the press to lap up, and despite the surgical procedures, the girls are treated as well as any thoroughbred:But it’s a precision business. The models don’t even suffer phantom aches from their old arms. The doctors clean up anything else that’s wrong while they’re in there, as a special service—faltering thyroids and kidney troubles and moles that are suspicious or unsightly. These girls are an investment; they’re meant to live.the silliness of the protesters is also done well - outrage for the sake of outrage without clear and consistent goals and so easily caving to the very spectacle they rail against.the problem is this fairytale component; what it's meant to signify and what rhea's role in all of this is. because the tale is presented as a sort of subversion of expectations - the "good" girl who seems to have been granted a wonderful reward for her kindness is actually suffering for it, while there's a freedom to being the unkind girl, left alone in the woods, unbloodied and powerful. i just don't get how that story applies to the fashion parts, and what rhea's vision actually was. because it seems that she was trying to make a more personal statement underneath the obvious one about impermanence she was broadcasting, but it's unclear to me whether the end of the fashion show was planned by her or not. she's built as an ambiguous character - is she benevolent or self-serving, and what does her nod to the fairy tale mean here?i just wish it had been tighter and clearer. it's a bunch of pretty parts that don't look great all sewn together.oh, wait...3.5read it for yourself here:http://www.tor.com/2016/04/27/la-beau...

  • Nat
    2018-09-09 02:48

    This read was a 3am choice based solely on the fact that it was a short story with the most beautiful cover I’ve ever seen. I looked at it for a solid twenty minutes before I could move on.The illustration was made by Tran Nguyen, and I think it goes without mentioning that I spent hours looking at their previous works... what is sleep??La beauté sans vertu by Genevieve Valentine is a vicious little swipe at the fashion industry as certain disturbing trends are amplified in the future and a famous fashion House prepares for an important show.This wasn't exactly the perfect “bedtime” story, but it was effective in capturing my complete attention. I forgot for a minute there that I was supposed to wake up in a couple of hours. And it made me feel a little less frustrated over said fact.“There were two girls—there are always two, so one can be made an example of.The one who was kind to an old beggar woman was gifted with the roses and diamonds that dropped from her mouth with every word; the one who refused to get water for a princess to drink spent the rest of her life vomiting vipers and toads.As a girl, Rhea listened and understood what she wasn’t being told. (It’s how she climbed to the top of a couture house. Rhea hears.)The one who was kind married a prince, and spent the rest of her life granting audiences and coughing up bouquets and necklaces for the guests. The one who refused was driven into the forest, where there was no one who wanted anything fetched, and she could spit out a viper any time she needed venom, and she never had to speak again.”Objectification and the cultural position of the industry are some of the issues (I remember) being tackled in here, which I found to be quite interesting to explore in such a short medium.But in the end, I found the premise of this to be a perfect fit for twenty pages. And if some things were a bit confusing when they weren't fully delved into, I didn't even mind because it was a midnight read. It also helped that I was starting to feel sleepy towards the end... so it didn't creep me out just that badly!If nothing else, La beauté sans vertu left me intrigued to find more short tales on Tor.com, maybe for another sleepless night. And I'm more than invested in reading more of Genevieve Valentine's writing.Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying La beauté sans vertu, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!This review and more can be found on my blog.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2018-09-05 00:04

    3.5 stars, rounding up. Final review, first posted on www.FantasyLiterature.com in our Short Fiction Monday (SFM) feature:In a near-future science fiction tale, high-fashion models for couture fashion houses routinely get their arm bones replaced with those from corpses of young teenagers, just for the slenderness of the bones, despite the fact that it leaves the tips of their fingers blackened. And that’s just one of the often torturous treatments that models are subjected to in the highly artificial fashion industry.Maria, a 19 year old girl called the “Princess of Roses and Diamonds,” is a premier model of the House of Centifolia, and the key runway model for an upcoming fashion show. Centifolia owns her body ― she is basically a glamorous lifetime indentured servant ― but her mind harbors rebellious thoughts. Echoes of the "Toads and Diamonds" fairy tale appear, sink away in the glamorous muck of Maria’s world, and then resurface.The one who was kind married a prince, and spent the rest of her life granting audiences and coughing up bouquets and necklaces for the guests. The one who refused was driven into the forest, where there was no one who wanted anything fetched, and she could spit out a viper any time she needed venom, and she never had to speak again.*This short story skewers the fashion industry and the inhumane way models are sometimes treated, extrapolating from some disturbing trends in the current industry and taking them to their extremes to highlight both the cruelty and the nonsensical and illusory nature of many aspects of this business. “La beauté sans vertu” is rather light on the speculative elements, but it is a haunting tale with lovely writing and some very pointed humor. The title, which translates as “Beauty without Virtue,” evokes John Keats’ memorable Romantic era poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci, but here it is the models who have the death-pale faces and starved lips.Free online at Tor.com.*ETA: Another take on the "Toads and Diamonds" fairy tale, and how maybe the sister who spits up reptiles got a better deal than the one who does jewels, is T. Kingfisher's Toad Words. The title story is free online at http://tkingfisher.com/?page_id=242.

  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    2018-09-07 02:59

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestThese days they use arms from corpses—age fourteen, oldest, at time of death. The couture houses pay for them, of course (the days of grave-robbing are over, this is a business), but anything over fourteen isn’t worth having. At fourteen, the bones have most of the length you need for a model, with a child’s slender ulna, the knob of the wrist still standing out enough to cast a shadow.LA BEAUTE SANS VERTU is set in a dystopian society where couture fashion houses take rather extreme and cruel liberties with their fashion models. Their natural bodies aren't enough - they have their arms sliced off and replaced with the slender, emaciated arms from the corpses of fourteen-year-old girls.Maria, the model of this story, was scouted and taken when she was nineteen. They like her because of her perfect walk and because there's “[s]omething miserable in the turn of the mouth” of her beautiful face. She becomes incredibly sought after, a valuable commodity.LA BEAUTE SANS VERTU is definitely a scathing criticism of the fashion industry, of how thin is thin enough, and how artificial everything is, from the hype, to the personas of the models themselves, to the actual outfits worn on these fashion shows: ensembles that would never stand up to wear and tear, and are created to be worn once, and sold or discarded.Are things only beautiful because we know they won't last?As if all this weren't enough to make me love this story, Valentine works in many references and parallels to Charles Perrault's fairytale, "Diamonds and Toads."The one who was kind married a prince, and spent the rest of her life granting audiences and coughing up bouquets and necklaces for the guests. The one who refused was driven into the forest, where there was no one who wanted anything fetched, and she could spit out a viper any time she needed venom, and she never had to speak again.I liked the comparison of models to fairytale princesses. Both are renowned for being beautiful, and many young girls wish they could be both. But there is a darker side to being both a model and a princess, and behind the glitz and glamor, there's a lot of pressure, a lot of objectification, and a lot of misery.LA BEAUTE SANS VERTU is a beautifully written Tor.com short. I really, really enjoyed it, and I'd love to see a concept like this fleshed out in a full-length novel. I think you could write it the way Paolo Bacigalupi would, and make it a cautionary tale against too much biological engineering. But this short story is good, too, and ends on just the right, judgmental note.4.5 stars

  • Elena May
    2018-09-01 22:08

    All short stories and novellas I've come across recently have been horrific, but also so good. This was absolutely gorgeous! Set in a dystopian society, the story shows us a fashion industry that takes everything to extremes, to the extend of surgically enhancing its young models with the body parts of dead children. While we see fashion as a form of art - choreography, visuals, and music coming together to create a magnificent spectacle - the tale is also a strong criticism of the industry and, surprisingly, also of those who protest against it without putting much thought into what they are fighting for. Haunting, tragic, with a fairy-tale like feel.

  • Trish
    2018-09-11 01:41

    Thanks to a few friends here, I now know that there are lots of (great) short stories on tor.com - and they are for free!This particular story is a wonderful futuristic take on the beauty industry. For everyone not knowing, the title when translated means "Beauty without Virtue" and that is exactly what this story is about. It was good that the author made it out to be futuristic because that offered more possibilities than a contemporary setting probably would have and drove the point home even more strongly.I myself am highly critical of the fashion industry and how models are being treated. However, I'm equally critical about why a woman or man would do that to themselves voluntarily (we all know what the life of a model is like and that it's not all sunshine and roses so why would anyone want to become a model in the first place?).Anyway, this is a very good short story with a beautiful cover.

  • Margaret
    2018-09-13 01:48

    19-year-old Maria is a model in an industry where model's arms are replaced with looser, younger arms. She's known as the Princess of Roses and Diamonds, and hints of the fairy tale Diamonds and Toads interplay with the hottest fashion show of the season. It's an interesting read, and can be read for free here: http://www.tor.com/2016/04/27/la-beau... 3.5/5

  • Katie
    2018-08-24 02:03

    Rating: 4/5As I read this story, I was expecting some indictment of the fashion industry, something about the unnaturalness of what it does to women's bodies. I was expecting the transplanted arms to come to mean something significant in relation to the message of the story, and... oh, heavens, did they ever!I recently read a book called The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, which talks about the lengths women go to to attain beauty. What they do to themselves is abusive and insane, just like what's done to the models in this story. It's not the arm transplants that are the most insane, though: it's what's revealed in the final section. Valentine's story is as much about a misguided pursuit of beauty as Wolf's book is. The mutilation of women's bodies is shocking, but not nearly as shocking as that final section (I won't spoil it). My jaw dropped.I really liked how Valentine interwove the Toads and Diamonds story with the story of Maria, and how she suggested the problems with always spitting out diamonds, the expectations that placed on the princess. Valentine put Maria in the role of the princess, with her beauty creating certain unpleasant expectations of her.A really shocking, thought-provoking story.

  • Ginger
    2018-08-29 19:01

    A beautifully told but haunting story of the fashion/beauty industry that didn't quite fully form. I would certainly look for more work by Valentine to get a complete picture of her writing talents. it looks like she has quite a bit to choose from!

  • Margaryta
    2018-09-15 03:05

    Very beautifully written, but with large gaps and ambiguity that proves detrimental to the story. As much as I'm all for a writer not making everything overtly obvious, I wanted to have more context to the arm replacement that opens up the story, as well as some more weight to the fairytale that is referenced, about two girls that have very different fates. There are some things this short story did well - creating an atmosphere, poking fun at some of the ridiculous details and situations, making the story feel relevant and allegorical in relation to our society. Yet it fails to wrap all of these things together, to really make Maria and Rhea feel like fleshed-out characters, or to deliver the full terror that is the fashion industry and its consumerist nature.

  • Amit
    2018-09-06 21:55

    Well I expected more from it judging by the look of that gorgeous cover but not when the story ends like this. It's disappointing...1. There’s the occasional complaint, of course (from outside, always, those inside a couture house wouldn’t dream of it). But it’s a precision business. The models don’t even suffer phantom aches from their old arms. The doctors clean up anything else that’s wrong while they’re in there, as a special service—faltering thyroids and kidney troubles and moles that are suspicious or unsightly. These girls are an investment; they’re meant to live...2. Maria looks at the mirror, where the last two assistants are looping the final threads. Rhea’s looking at the mirror too, her eyes brimming with tears, and Maria realizes this must be a masterpiece, that she must be wearing something that will be important later. It’s important that this fragility turn into a pile of thread and reed hoops, because nothing beautiful lasts...The future and the cruel business of a fashion industry where the female models get replaced their with dead bodies corpses, well this read made me uneasy at the first point. I can barely agree with the fact that it's a science fiction well I don't know if I can be responsible for that. What I wanna say is this short story from my point of view should have more materials on it. There's that incomplete sentence or say moment that should've been need more details. I of course in some point felt more distracted about what the sentence exactly means to say!...Maria the most beautiful model that industry have and they like every other model from there industry tried there best to bring out the best of her. But by doing these the industry almost destroying there life too. Well there's that girl call Rhea. I don't know whether or what I should I write about her character but well she was with Maria to help her about fit her dress perfectly...Decent short story but speaking honestly I expected more. Anyway better luck next time...

  • Tamara✨
    2018-08-20 22:39

    I've come to a realisation that Valentine is a very poetic writer, everything that she writes has this sort of "mystical mist" quality to it, so the words just kind of float by and I find that it can be confusing?? I'm not even sure if any of that made sense, but this short was in no way confusing. It was relatively easy to grasp the plot despite how short it was and kept me interested all the way through! Which is so important for short stories. I'd like to see this maybe developed a bit more one day, but not into a full length novel. It feels like it would devolve into some kind of Hunger Games type story. Which we really don't need.https://hercommonplaceblog.wordpress....

  • Cecillie
    2018-09-03 23:03

    I honest have no idea wether I understood this story or not. I'm leaning more towards the not end of the scale.La beauté sans vertu, is beautifully written and leaning towards being haunting. However, I found that some of the sentence were difficult to understand due to the structure of them. I also feel that the story needed more. It seemed like it wasn't finished, missing details that would make it feel more whole.

  • Kylie
    2018-09-08 03:03

    The writing is hauntingly gorgeous and that alone would have been worth the read but the story told is even more haunting. It's the story of one girl modeling in a fashion industry that sees models as no more than breathing mannequins (with interchangeable parts). I especially loved the image created of the models with their blackened fingers- beauty and decay.

  • Alex Sarll
    2018-09-19 21:44

    What initially seems like it's going to be a trite little parable about the indignities of the fashion industry instead twists into a warped fairytale about the effects of glamour which would not have been unworthy of Angela Carter.

  • Izabella (pagesfullofstars)
    2018-09-17 23:03

    Beautiful writing but very underwhelming story, at least for me. There was too many threads left unfinished and what I thought to be the main message at the beginning, didn't have much importance in the end, which made me wonder what was the point of this story after all.

  • Tin
    2018-08-27 22:01

    what a great roast

  • Laura
    2018-09-14 19:54

    Darkly humorous critique of fashion and celebrity culture. I'm not quite sure how the references to the "Diamonds and Toads" fairy tale relate.I adore the stunningly gorgeous illustration by Tran Nguyen!

  • Fifi
    2018-09-14 23:54

    Really gorgeous short story, but it left me feeling very confused.

  • Trish
    2018-09-14 21:08

    Decidedly weird.

  • Artur
    2018-09-10 19:59

    A chilling, haunting story about the fashion industry.

  • Selina Kyle
    2018-09-17 23:53

    I love Genevieve Valentine. I love how she writes, I love the worlds she paints, and I love the sardonic twists she gives to her plots and her characters.That said, short stories are very hit or miss with me. I always want to be immersed in a world and to know the characters beyond the literary equivalent of a handshake. Valentine, as always, offers a world you can vividly imagine being a part of. In this story, however, most of her characters are only offered up as pretty faces and first names. She does this on purpose, I'm pretty sure, because this story is a jab at the fashion industry and how it reduces the models to their parts and their walks.My one complaint is that the pacing is a little too fast and the ending loses some of its punch because of it.

  • Balaram Briant
    2018-09-13 01:54

    The writing was good. I knew it would be. I read The Insects of Love several months ago and I loved it. It was a tale powerfully told, ambitious and crisp, gaining momentum in its lyric campaign of over 8,000 words which will not be forgotten; the writing there was good, too, but it is not that which I remember. When I read a work written by a writer I trust, I do not expect good writing as I have read before. Genevieve Valentine is a good writer, and so the writing is good. What, then, can be said for the merit of this story? Hemingway said that "for a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed." Sometimes he may fail, too, but even those failures are memorable: Faulkner himself called The Sound and the Fury his "most splendid failure." A work is not truly great unless the author has tried to accomplish the unaccomplished.It was interesting, in the way that an animal in a zoo is interesting: it catches the eye, but then is soon forgotten. This short story came off like a character sketch or a scenario exploration for a longer work that might actually be worth reading. There were lots of interesting ideas and something ought to be done with them. But it wasn't in there. They sat there, docile in the paragraphs, and even when the tragedy came—the tragedy that I knew would come from the first, that I expected and wished would make me feel something—there was no sadness or outrage.If this was a first draft, it would be a good one. I hope the author has plans to do something substantial with this idea. As it is, I get the feeling only of wasted potential: another curio from Tor, like so many. Not one I will remember.

  • Elizabeth Brenner
    2018-09-08 18:57

    Gorgeous and cutting.

  • Kinsey_m
    2018-08-20 20:47

    I loved the insects of love so much that my expectations may have been too high. Also, I was a bit disoriented with regards to the warehouse and field where the show takes place. In any event it was an interesting read about the fahion industry and how it uses its models. I was reminded of a huge scandal a few years ago when a designer caller David Delfin made models wear hoods that impeded their vision during a show. Some of the models became very disoriented and some nearly fell off the runway but for the audience who tried to guide them (a few removed the hoods amidst general clapping). I guess reality will always be stranger (and even more cruel) than fiction.

  • Marco
    2018-09-07 02:05

    La beauté sans vertu is a harsh swipe at the fashion industry as certain disturbing trends are amplified in this fictional near future and a famous fashion House prepares for an important show. This is an interesting satirical piece, denouncing some of the ills of modern society and its obsession for unnatural and unattainable bodies.

  • Mai
    2018-09-09 02:40

    "The princess of Roses and Diamonds swallowed blood for the rest of her life, every time she opened her mouth." My first time learning about the Toads and Diamonds fairy tale. I think I paid more attention to the short snippets of it than the rest of the story. Sorry. Really gorgeous writing though, I'm a sucker for details so I love this kind of writing. ♥

  • Maggie Gordon
    2018-09-17 21:57

    Wow, La beaute sans vertu is the most creative retelling of Diamonds and Toads I have ever read. It was breathtakingly beautifully written, and, though simple, very effective in its message. This was a delight to read and I'd definitely recommend.

  • Bobbi Jo
    2018-09-07 01:05

    I don't care about the modeling industry but this short story kept my interest far enough to finish it. Well done.

  • Francesca
    2018-09-10 02:56

    3.5/5