(1870-1925) French writer who shot to fame with Aphrodite (1895; trans Stanley Reynolds 1900 France), a lush erotic fantasy set in ancient Alexandria. It was followed by Les Aventures du roi Pausole (1901; trans Mitchell S Buck as The Adventures of King Pausole 1926 US), a Rabelaisian comedy in which the king of Tryphême sets out with an irreverent servant in pursuit of his eloping daughter; a luckless steward tries in vain to keep his harem in order during his absence. Six prose-poems with motifs drawn from Greek Mythology, including Lêda, ou la louange des bienheures ténèbres (1893 chap), Ariane, ou le chemin de la paix eternelle (1894 chap) and Byblis changé en fontaine (1898 chap), were collected as Le crepuscule des nymphs (coll 1925; trans Phyllis Duveen as The Twilight of the Nymphs 1928 UK). Further short stories, issued as Sanguines (coll 1903; trans James Cleugh 1932 US), included several ironic fantasies. Notes sur "Aphrodite" (coll 1928), one of several posthumous pornographic works, provided a complete menu of the services available in the temple garden where Chrysis plied her trade. Les chansons de Bilitis (coll 1895; trans Horace Machester Brown as The Songs of Bilitis 1904 US) comprises erotic poems supposedly written by a contemporary of Sappho. [BS]
other works: The Collected Works of Pierre Louÿs (coll 1932 US).