By Marguerite Yourcenar
Published to nice acclaim in France in 1993, this assortment isn't just a pride for Marguerite Yourcenar fanatics yet a welcome port of access for any reader now not but conversant in the author's lengthier, extra hard works. the only real released paintings of fiction via 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 more than a few subject matters, 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 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 creation to Yourcenar's paintings, the tales take us into the writer's workshop, because it have been, to the early days of construction. In both case, A Blue story and different tales contains the unmistakable voice of a powerful and enormously gifted writer.
Marguerite Yourcenar (her pseudonym was once an anagram of her relatives identify, Crayencour) used to be born in Brussels in 1903 and died in Maine in 1987. essentially the most revered writers within the French language, she is healthier referred to as the writer of the best-selling Memoirs of Hadrian and The Abyss. She used to be presented many literary honors, so much particularly 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 global in myriad colors of blue. Unfolding like a folktale, this tonal scan issues a band of seafaring ecu retailers (Dutch, Irish, Greek, Castilian) who search a cave choked with sapphires, aided by way of a deaf-mute woman 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 through the ship's workforce, yet this act of violation signs the mariners' undoing. Male vanity and misogyny additionally underlie "The First Evening," which was once written by means of Yourcenar's father, Michel de Crayencour, then revised and accomplished via her in a curious collaboration. Honeymooning together with his new spouse, a guy resents receiving the scoop that his ex-mistress has thrown herself lower than a bus. In "The Evil Spell," set in a Mediterranean village, an Italian peasant lady death of tuberculosis, likely inflicted by way of a jealous rival's magic curse, is aided by means of 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 demise in 1987, the 3 tales during this slender quantity have been written from 1927 and 1930, while the writer was once in her mid-twenties, and are a startling success. They demonstrate her preoccupation with storytelling tools she later constructed in her novels?reworking of oral traditions and an incandescent element of view?as good as a fascination with the fantasy and the occult. simply "A Blue Tale," instructed totally 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 unearths a brand new energy 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 via a bus. the tale, created by means of Yourcenar's father as a tender guy and transformed by way of the daughter, unearths the chilly, certain eye of a author past her years. an exceptional 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 imagined her robbed of her grace, deformed, shriv- 19 The First Evening eled down to all the pettiness of conjugal life which would transform her into a woman like all others. A moment ago he had been on the point of taking her into his arms and destroying her. An instant would have been enough: relaxing his embrace, he would have felt in his heart that he had committed murder, and passion would not have granted him extenuating circumstances since, after all, he felt no desire for her. Or, at least, he felt no more desire for her than for any other woman.
Poor Mother! I hope she’s feeling a little more reas sured. ” The First Evening This backward glance conjured up in him the im age of another woman, his mistress, with whom he had broken up, and whom he was surprised still to remember. Had she wept? Had she held back her tears? Tired of that woman, as one can only be tired of that which one has loved too much, he had found it easy to leave her; breaking up with her, he had thought he could suppress the bitterness one feels at discovering, one evening, that one has aged enough to have a past.
Or, rather, was she thinking at all? So many women think of nothing. Was she re ally simple-minded enough to expect a secret revela tion from life, when all life has to offer us is incessant nagging? Would she end up by begging from a lover the happiness he would not have given her, that no one else would give her either, because it wouldn’t be his to give? Did she imagine one carried happiness in one’s wallet, like a check that needs only to be en dorsed? Checks can be issued without funds.