By Marguerite Yourcenar
Published to nice acclaim in France in 1993, this assortment is not just a satisfaction for Marguerite Yourcenar enthusiasts yet a welcome port of access for any reader now not but acquainted with the author's lengthier, extra tough works. the only real released paintings of fiction by means of Yourcenar but to be translated into English, this assortment contains 3 tales written among 1927 and 1930 whilst the writer used to be in her mid-twenties. those tales conceal a number of issues, from an allegory on greed and a scene from the battle of the sexes, to a witchhunt that obsessively creates its personal quarry.
For the committed readers of Yourcenar, this assortment permits an extraordinary glimpse on the beginnings of a writer's craft. In those complete yet forgotten items, edited and brought by way of her biographer, Josyane Savigneau, the reader will locate the mix of fantasy and fairy story of Oriental stories, the mental chronicle of pricey Departed, the ironic realism of A Coin in 9 palms. learn as an advent to Yourcenar's paintings, the tales take us into the writer's workshop, because it have been, to the early days of production. In both case, A Blue story and different tales contains the unmistakable voice of a powerful and enormously gifted writer.
Marguerite Yourcenar (her pseudonym used to be an anagram of her kinfolk identify, Crayencour) was once born in Brussels in 1903 and died in Maine in 1987. the most revered writers within the French language, she is healthier often called the writer of the best-selling Memoirs of Hadrian and The Abyss. She used to be provided many literary honors, so much particularly election to the Académie Francaise in 1980, the 1st girl to be so honored.
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From Publishers Weekly
Written among 1927 and 1930, while Yourcenar (1903-1987) used to be in her mid-20s, those 3 beautiful tales prefigure the Belgian-born French novelist's mature dramatic powers. within the identify piece, Yourcenar describes the exterior international in myriad colors of blue. Unfolding like a folktale, this tonal test matters a band of seafaring ecu retailers (Dutch, Irish, Greek, Castilian) who search a cave packed with sapphires, aided by means of a deaf-mute lady slave with blue-black hair. She is abducted by way of the grasping Greek service provider (her tears flip to aquamarines), then stripped and lashed to the mast by means of the ship's team, yet this act of violation indications the mariners' undoing. Male conceitedness and misogyny additionally underlie "The First Evening," which used to be written via Yourcenar's father, Michel de Crayencour, then revised and accomplished by way of her in a curious collaboration. Honeymooning together with his new spouse, a guy resents receiving the inside track that his ex-mistress has thrown herself lower than a bus. In "The Evil Spell," set in a Mediterranean village, an Italian peasant girl demise of tuberculosis, likely inflicted by means of a jealous rival's magic curse, is aided by way of a male healer's spell-breaking rituals. In sensual but designated prose, Yourcenar probes the workings of greed, religion, credulity and empathy in human relationships.
From Library Journal
Discovered between Yourcenar's papers after her demise in 1987, the 3 tales during this narrow quantity have been written from 1927 and 1930, while the writer was once in her mid-twenties, and are a startling success. They exhibit her preoccupation with storytelling tools she later built in her novels?reworking of oral traditions and an incandescent aspect of view?as good as a fascination with the delusion and the occult. purely "A Blue Tale," informed solely in timbres of blue, has now not been released. "An Evil Spell" matters a tender Italian peasant who confesses to sorcery out of worry but reveals a brand new strength within the terror she now conjures up. "The First Evening" is the main compelling of the 3 stories: On his marriage ceremony evening, a bridegroom displays on his new ownership then gets become aware of that his ex-mistress has been struck via a bus. the tale, created through Yourcenar's father as a tender guy and transformed by means of the daughter, finds the chilly, certain eye of a author past her years. a great creation to Yourcenar's paintings; for literature collections.?Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
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Extra info for A Blue Tale and Other Stories
Of a woman who rejects convention. ” She will never share the immense credu lity of women, in matters either of sex or of sickness and maternity. “ Would she have a child? O f course she’d have a child. He tried to imagine her pregnant. ” As she reads these lines— xxviii Foreword and agrees with them, since she publishes them un der her own name— Marguerite Yourcenar sets out to prove that one can be a woman otherwise. She’ll succeed. ” Marguerite Yourcenar her self, in the chronology established for the first vol ume of her works in Gallimard’s deluxe series of classics, “ Bibliotheque de la Pleiade,” places the writ ing of this story— “ a realistic evocation of Italian customs” — in 1927, even though it first appeared six years later.
Just wished i t . ” O f course: the woman who succeeds in stepping out of the women’s circle (and for whom Yourcenar, not without humor, expresses her admiration) can only be a witch. ” These rediscovered texts, assembled almost by chance so as to rescue them from being scattered and to place them before a wider public than that of xxx Foreword researchers and specialists, ultimately form a youth ful triptych on the subject of credulity. Since her ado lescence, Marguerite Yourcenar had been striving to avoid that weakness— a weakness distorted in the discourse of men, who are so often credulous them selves, into a charming trait of the female character.
Yet none o f this might happen. There are other possibilities, moments of happi ness or of sadness that one has neglected to invite, and that seek revenge by arriving all o f a sudden, un announced. She might die. He imagined her dead, lying in her coffin under a veil of white gauze; he saw himself, dressed in black, possessing, in the eyes of the fiftyyear-old women, the prestige of suffering a misfor tune. And black suited him. His own insensibility an noyed him, as if he were already tired of mourning her.