By Marguerite Yourcenar
Published to nice acclaim in France in 1993, this assortment isn't just a pride for Marguerite Yourcenar enthusiasts yet a welcome port of access for any reader now not but conversant in the author's lengthier, extra not easy works. the only released paintings of fiction by way of Yourcenar but to be translated into English, this assortment contains 3 tales written among 1927 and 1930 whilst the writer was once in her mid-twenties. those tales disguise a variety of subject matters, from an allegory on greed and a scene from the conflict of the sexes, to a witchhunt that obsessively creates its personal quarry.
For the dedicated readers of Yourcenar, this assortment permits an extraordinary glimpse on the beginnings of a writer's craft. In those comprehensive yet forgotten items, edited and brought by means of her biographer, Josyane Savigneau, the reader will locate the combination of fantasy and fairy story of Oriental stories, the mental chronicle of expensive 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 production. In both case, A Blue story and different tales consists of the unmistakable voice of a powerful and drastically proficient 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. 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, such a lot 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 global in myriad colours of blue. Unfolding like a folktale, this tonal scan matters a band of seafaring eu retailers (Dutch, Irish, Greek, Castilian) who search a cave packed with sapphires, aided via 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 through 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 by means of Yourcenar's father, Michel de Crayencour, then revised and accomplished through her in a curious collaboration. Honeymooning along 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 way of 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 was once in her mid-twenties, and are a startling success. They demonstrate her preoccupation with storytelling equipment she later built in her novels?reworking of oral traditions and an incandescent aspect of view?as good as a fascination with the myth and the occult. in simple terms "A Blue Tale," advised fullyyt in timbres of blue, has now not been released. "An Evil Spell" issues a tender Italian peasant who confesses to sorcery out of worry but reveals 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 realize that his ex-mistress has been struck by means of a bus. the tale, created via Yourcenar's father as a tender guy and remodeled via the daughter, finds the chilly, convinced eye of a author past her years. an exceptional creation to Yourcenar's paintings; for literature collections.?Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
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Extra resources for A Blue Tale and Other Stories
And black suited him. His own insensibility an noyed him, as if he were already tired of mourning her. And he might be the one who died. He would die o f typhoid fever during a trip to Algeria or Spain, and she would have nursed him with the kind of tireless The First Evening devotion that later makes a good impression on men who might consider marrying a widow. But she would not remarry. She loved him. Rather, not hav ing loved anyone before, she imagined she loved him. For her, loving him was almost a necessity, since she had married him.
He re proached himself for leaving her on her own, as if he were certain that all this would happen, and as if he were truly responsible. Was it not enough for him to look after himself, without taking on this unknown girl as well? It would have been better for her to marry someone else. He should have made it clear to her. He felt a growing tenderness. He came to his senses. He watched her with gentle emotion, and a great despondency overcame him. II They were pulling into Chambery. Having nothing to say, she hunted for something to ask, like an object that isn’t important in itself but becomes im- The First Evening portant through our obstinate pursuit of it.
Now he re called, with a certain tenderness, the experienced body of a mature woman and the calm eyes no longer star tled by anything. He forgot the irritation he had felt at her faulty locutions, which pride prevented her from correcting so that they would not be thought involun tary, and which she had picked up in the days when she was the favorite of the district police. And how he had loathed her habit of humming popular songs when they were at the table! They had lived together for several years: he looked back at the time of their love with an indulgence born of incomplete memory, The First Evening and the certainty that those days would never return made him less critical of the quality of happiness they had given him.