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Fryderyka Lorelei Szymczyk (Lorel Simon)
Jean Beauxreves Kotchio is my pen name. My parents, a German-Polish couple from Września, a Polish town halfway between Berlin and Warsaw, immigrated to the United States and are now naturalized citizens residing in the American Midwest. As my real name is unpronounceable by most Americans, I used Lorel Simon in my high school annual (Szymczyk means Simon in Polish). Known to my college chums as ‘Frisbee,’ I majored in languages and psychology, with a minor in film, at a women’s college in New England. I completed my MA and PhD in philology in Europe. (I must avoid providing specific place names relative to my antecedents in view of my current surreptitious research project.)
I’ve always loved fairy tales. I spent several years collecting and editing the one hundred tales of lust and love for my Eroticon, which I offer as a salute to the one hundred novellas of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, which was first published in 1353. Currently I am living in a harem in the Middle East. I am among so many other concubines and dancing girls that I have ample leisure time to devote to preparing a similar tribute to Richard Burton’s translation of The Nights, the stories told by Scheherazade to Persian King Shahryar for one thousand and one nights. My harem buddies call me ‘Sherry’ because I like to tell stories from the Eroticon to the current king.
I apologize for not furnishing a photograph, but anonymity is integral to my safety as an interloper in the king’s harem. To sustain my research, I necessarily dance and perform other personal services for the king and his associates. As I enjoy doing that, I make no apologies, though I am known to my Polish girlfriends, affectionately I believe, as ‘Dziwka.’
I smuggled this blurb out of the harem through a friendly eunuch, and I hope to do the same with the tales I am now collecting for my next publication, which I’m thinking of calling The Casting Couch. ■