By Marguerite Yourcenar
Published to nice acclaim in France in 1993, this assortment is not 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 released paintings of fiction through 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 conceal a number of topics, from an allegory on greed and a scene from the warfare 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 through her biographer, Josyane Savigneau, the reader will locate the mixture of myth 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 construction. In both case, A Blue story and different tales includes the unmistakable voice of an impressive and drastically proficient writer.
Marguerite Yourcenar (her pseudonym was once an anagram of her family members identify, Crayencour) was once born in Brussels in 1903 and died in Maine in 1987. some of 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 was once 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, whilst Yourcenar (1903-1987) was once 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 test issues a band of seafaring eu retailers (Dutch, Irish, Greek, Castilian) who search a cave choked with sapphires, aided by way of a deaf-mute lady slave with blue-black hair. She is abducted via the grasping Greek service provider (her tears flip to aquamarines), then stripped and lashed to the mast through the ship's staff, yet this act of violation signs the mariners' undoing. Male vanity and misogyny additionally underlie "The First Evening," which used to be written by way of 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 inside track that his ex-mistress has thrown herself less than a bus. In "The Evil Spell," set in a Mediterranean village, an Italian peasant lady loss of life of tuberculosis, possible inflicted through a jealous rival's magic curse, is aided by way of a male healer's spell-breaking rituals. In sensual but distinct 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 slender quantity have been written from 1927 and 1930, while the writer used to be in her mid-twenties, and are a startling fulfillment. 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 myth and the occult. merely "A Blue Tale," instructed solely in timbres of blue, has no longer been released. "An Evil Spell" issues 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 by way of a bus. the tale, created via Yourcenar's father as a tender guy and remodeled via the daughter, finds the chilly, definite eye of a author past her years. a very good creation to Yourcenar's paintings; for literature collections.?Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
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Additional resources for A Blue Tale and Other Stories
She opened her handbag. In it were a Saint Christopher medal and a Sacred Heart medal. She thought of showing them to him, then imagined he would find them ridiculous and, not to let him think she had acted without a purpose, merely pulled out her handkerchief. She peered at the landscape: it was not as beautiful as she had pictured it, but she kept embellishing it by an unconscious effort o f the imag ination, for she didn’t want this day, even in its slightest details, to be inferior to the one she had promised herself.
Carried away, as if by the speeding train, to ward a future of sensations foretold, he tried to draw out the voluptuous sap of the present moment, to en joy those moments that would never come back, fully conscious of that which rendered them fragile. He told himself, as he had frequently done before, and often when in the company of other women, that most of the moments that make up our life would be delightful if they were not shadowed by the future or the past, and that usually we are miserable only by virtue of what we remember or what we expect.
For every house she saw, she told herself that he and she could live happily there, and this thought led her on to the furnishings and draperies that had been the cause of their first quarrels, at a time when they were merely engaged. The First Evening He, seeing the small windows lit in the gray ness of the twilight, asked himself, on the contrary, whether the people living in those houses so impru dently built next to the tracks didn’t envy the passen gers on the express train, and if they wouldn’t finally yield, some evening, to the temptation of climbing aboard.