By Marguerite Yourcenar
Published to nice acclaim in France in 1993, this assortment is not just a satisfaction for Marguerite Yourcenar lovers yet a welcome port of access for any reader now not but conversant in the author's lengthier, extra tough works. the only real released paintings of fiction by way of Yourcenar but to be translated into English, this assortment comprises 3 tales written among 1927 and 1930 whilst the writer was once in her mid-twenties. those tales hide quite a number topics, 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 entire yet forgotten items, edited and brought through her biographer, Josyane Savigneau, the reader will locate the combination of myth and fairy story of Oriental stories, the mental chronicle of pricey Departed, the ironic realism of A Coin in 9 arms. learn as an creation 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 significantly gifted writer.
Marguerite Yourcenar (her pseudonym was once an anagram of her kinfolk identify, Crayencour) was once born in Brussels in 1903 and died in Maine in 1987. probably 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 offered many literary honors, so much significantly election to the Académie Francaise in 1980, the 1st lady 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 colours of blue. Unfolding like a folktale, this tonal test matters a band of seafaring eu retailers (Dutch, Irish, Greek, Castilian) who search a cave choked with sapphires, aided via a deaf-mute girl slave with blue-black hair. She is abducted through 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 vanity and misogyny additionally underlie "The First Evening," which was once written via Yourcenar's father, Michel de Crayencour, then revised and accomplished through her in a curious collaboration. Honeymooning together with his new spouse, a guy resents receiving the scoop that his ex-mistress has thrown herself less than a bus. In "The Evil Spell," set in a Mediterranean village, an Italian peasant lady death of tuberculosis, probably inflicted by means of a jealous rival's magic curse, is aided via a male healer's spell-breaking rituals. In sensual but specific 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 slender quantity have been written from 1927 and 1930, while the writer used to be in her mid-twenties, and are a startling success. They exhibit her preoccupation with storytelling tools she later constructed in her novels?reworking of oral traditions and an incandescent aspect of view?as good as a fascination with the myth and the occult. purely "A Blue Tale," advised completely 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 reveals a brand new strength within the terror she now evokes. "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 observe that his ex-mistress has been struck by way of a bus. the tale, created via Yourcenar's father as a tender guy and transformed through the daughter, unearths the chilly, convinced eye of a author past her years. an excellent advent to Yourcenar's paintings; for literature collections.?Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
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Additional info for A Blue Tale and Other Stories
Yet he rested his head on her ragged knees and fell asleep feeling comforted, for her right eye, though sightless, ap peared somehow to be of a miraculous blue. THE I T hey w ere on their honeymoon. The train sped toward the banality of Switzerland; sitting in the reserved compartment, they held hands. Silence weighed heavily upon them. They loved one another, or at least they thought they did, but their loves, so different from one another, only helped them understand how little they had in common.
With her little finger the young woman opened a second door, which led out into the open, and in single file they made their way toward the interior of the island along a path edged by rows of aloe bushes. The merchants’ shadows clung to their heels, small and black as vipers. Only the young woman had no shadow, which made them wonder whether she was a ghost. J 8 A Blue Tale The blue hills in the distance turned black, brown, and gray as they drew near; but the merchant from the Touraine did not lose heart and sang songs from his homeland to keep his spirits up.
These words also describe most of Yourcenar’s other short pieces, even those that are unpolished— and that she herself judged harshly— or conven tional, such as “An Evil Spell ” Indeed, both the fail ings and the promising aspects are revealing. These “ little texts,” which are both sketches and works of full range, now fulfill a double function in Yource- Foreword xxxi nar’s oeuvre. ” Through these texts— of which “ The First Eve ning” is emblematic— runs the path of no return from filial and human sentiment to a sensibility that links Yourcenar to a lineage both creative and cultural.
A Blue Tale and Other Stories by Marguerite Yourcenar