It’s obviously no secret that I have a great love of Colette’s writing, and my recent reads and re-reads set me off checking what I have of hers and what I don’t. The pedant in me likes to make a nice list in publication order and check it off as I buy/read the relevant books – yes, I’m a book-collecting obsessive!
However, with Colette, things are not quite so clear-cut. Any list has to be a list of titles translated, rather than her complete oeuvre, and even the one of those I found had her ‘notable works’ – I want the minor works too, as anything she writes is going to be good in my view, and I need to possess it!
Glancing through the list, I found that I have most of her available works already (which is what I thought), neatly shelved in as chronological order as possible. However, I found two notable omissions – “Mitsou” from 1919 , and “Dialogues de Bêtes”/”La Paix Chez les Bêtes” (the latter being her works about her dogs and cats). Irked, I went off searching online to see if any of these were available…
This was my first find:
It came preposterously cheap from the Big River, and has some lovely illustrations and appears to be a translation of “Dialogues”. All well and good, and I was happy with this. However, I thought I would see if there was an English version of “Paix” and in doing so, I came across this:
“Creatures Great and Small” is part of the Secker and Warburg Uniform Edition of Colette (I will *not* try to collect this, I will *not* try to collect this!), and not only does it have “Dialogues” and “Paix”, it also contains “Sept Dialogues des Betes” and “Douze Dialogues des Betes” – so I guess that’s all Colette’s animal stuff in one volume – result!!
And yes, there is a second book in the picture – that’s “Mitsou”, also in the Uniform Edition. So I have new-to-me Colette to read, and I just *wish* there was a nice complete list somewhere, or a complete lovely matching set of translations. Meantime, I’ll just have to keep digging….. 🙂