By Marguerite Yourcenar
Published to nice acclaim in France in 1993, this assortment is not just a pride for Marguerite Yourcenar enthusiasts yet a welcome port of access for any reader now not but acquainted with the author's lengthier, extra not easy works. the only released paintings of fiction by means of Yourcenar but to be translated into English, this assortment contains 3 tales written among 1927 and 1930 while the writer was once in her mid-twenties. those tales disguise 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 via her biographer, Josyane Savigneau, the reader will locate the combination of delusion 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 consists of the unmistakable voice of an impressive and significantly gifted writer.
Marguerite Yourcenar (her pseudonym was once an anagram of her family members identify, Crayencour) used to be born in Brussels in 1903 and died in Maine in 1987. the most revered writers within the French language, she is better referred to as the writer of the best-selling Memoirs of Hadrian and The Abyss. She used to be presented many literary honors, such a lot significantly 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 name piece, Yourcenar describes the exterior global in myriad colors of blue. Unfolding like a folktale, this tonal test matters a band of seafaring eu 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 via the ship's group, 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 along with his new spouse, a guy resents receiving the scoop that his ex-mistress has thrown herself below a bus. In "The Evil Spell," set in a Mediterranean village, an Italian peasant lady demise of tuberculosis, doubtless inflicted via a jealous rival's magic curse, is aided via a male healer's spell-breaking rituals. In sensual but detailed prose, Yourcenar probes the workings of greed, religion, credulity and empathy in human relationships.
From Library Journal
Discovered between Yourcenar's papers after her loss of life 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 fulfillment. They show her preoccupation with storytelling equipment she later constructed in her novels?reworking of oral traditions and an incandescent aspect of view?as good as a fascination with the delusion and the occult. in basic terms "A Blue Tale," advised fullyyt in timbres of blue, has no longer been released. "An Evil Spell" matters a tender Italian peasant who confesses to sorcery out of worry but unearths a brand new energy 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 discover that his ex-mistress has been struck through a bus. the tale, created via Yourcenar's father as a tender guy and transformed by means of the daughter, unearths the chilly, certain eye of a author past her years. a superb advent to Yourcenar's paintings; for literature collections.?Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
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Extra resources for A Blue Tale and Other Stories
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.
It is true that the characters are Italian and that this tale of freeing someone from a spell is obviously Mediterranean. But is that enough? Other specialists, those who deal with Yourcenar and her use of history, stress its allusions to fascism— and to the communists who are persecuted and forced to escape from Italy. They also stress, pertinently but perhaps a little too exces sively, “ her historical technique,” which supposedly Foreword xxix underpins the text. Perhaps the specialists have paid too much attention to this slight narrative exercise.
The Dutch merchant, hungry, tried to break off the blue gourds of ripe figs, but hundreds o f bees buried in the succulent flesh stung him deeply on his hands and neck. When they reached the foot of the walls, they made a detour to avoid the guards. Without a sound, they headed toward the port o f the mermaid hunters, which was always deserted, for it had been many years since mermaids were hunted in that country. Their ship was floating idly on the waters, tied to a bronze toe, which was all that was left of a colossal statue erected to honor a god whose name no one re membered.