Honoré de Balzac, Sarrasine (1830), translated by Clara Bell.
This is a long-ish short story. I've added a couple of pictures, a TOC, and the French accents.
A young woman in a Parisian salon is startled by a sinister old man, to whom the hosts are very deferential. A young man tells her a story of sexual intrigue and 18th-century gender-bending to explain the old man's presence.
The story is part of Balzac's Comedie Humaine.
Later, in 1970, Roland Barthes used it to expound his structuralist theories in 'S/Z'.
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