A Bilingual New York Review Books Original Vivant Denon's No Tomorrow is one of the masterpieces of eighteenth-century French libertine literature, a book to set beside Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons dangereuses , except that where Laclos' icy novel tells of hellish depravity, Denon's ravishing novella is a paradisal diversion. This tale of seduction is itself a seduction, with a plot that could be said to slowly unveil itself before arriving at last at an unexpected consummation.
Summoned by Madame de T---- to her country house, the young hero of Denon's novella is taken on a tour of the grounds, only the beginning of a night that not only will be full of unanticipated delights but will give rise to unforeseen, perhaps unanswerable, questions. Lydia Davis's definitive translation of Denon's slim masterpiece is accompanied by the French text. Peter Brooks's illuminating introduction explores the mysteries of No Tomorrow 's original publication and the subtleties of Denon's ethics of pleasure.