A Blue Tale and Other Stories

A Blue Tale and Other Stories

by Marguerite Yourcenar
     
 

Published to great acclaim in France in 1993, this collection is not only a delight for Marguerite Yourcenar fans but a welcome port of entry for any reader not yet familiar with the author's lengthier, more demanding works. The sole published work of fiction by Yourcenar yet to be translated into English, this collection includes three stories written between 1927

Overview

Published to great acclaim in France in 1993, this collection is not only a delight for Marguerite Yourcenar fans but a welcome port of entry for any reader not yet familiar with the author's lengthier, more demanding works. The sole published work of fiction by Yourcenar yet to be translated into English, this collection includes three stories written between 1927 and 1930 when the author was in her mid-twenties. These stories cover a range of themes, from an allegory on greed and a scene from the war of the sexes, to a witchhunt that obsessively creates its own quarry.

For the devoted readers of Yourcenar, this collection allows a rare glimpse at the beginnings of a writer's craft. In these accomplished but forgotten pieces, edited and introduced by her biographer, Josyane Savigneau, the reader will find the blend of fable and fairy tale of Oriental Tales, the psychological chronicle of Dear Departed, the ironic realism of A Coin in Nine Hands. Read as an introduction to Yourcenar's work, the stories take us into the writer's workshop, as it were, to the early days of creation. In either case, A Blue Tale and Other Stories carries the unmistakable voice of a formidable and vastly talented writer.

Marguerite Yourcenar (her pseudonym was an anagram of her family name, Crayencour) was born in Brussels in 1903 and died in Maine in 1987. One of the most respected writers in the French language, she is best known as the author of the best-selling Memoirs of Hadrian and The Abyss. She was awarded many literary honors, most notably election to the Académie Francaise in 1980, the first woman to be so honored.

Editorial Reviews

Janet St. John
In her foreword, Josyane Savigneau, Yourcenar's biographer and editor, stresses the significance of a writer's works in understanding the writer. Fans hunger for each newly found, published, completed, or translated manuscript after a writer's death, seeking some additional revelations about the writer's personal life and literary development. This collection of stories is the last of Yourcenar's fiction to be translated into English. The title story displays Yourcenar's strength at exploring tradition and imbuing it with contemporary insight and sensuality. In "The First Evening," a story her father wrote, which she revised and completed, Yourcenar shows keen observations regarding the often awkward sexual relations between men and women and their frequent inability to form true, intimate connections. Finally, "The Evil Spell" blatantly shows influences apparent in later works: her fascination with the occult, fully examined in "The Abyss" or the deep connection with the Mediterranean, appearing in "Memoirs of Hadrian". These short but, in many ways, splendid works stand on their own merit, for they demonstrate an intuitive and passionate person as well as an extremely talented and ambitious writer.
Booknews
Architect and architectural philosopher Hendrik Petrus Berlage created a series of buildings and a body of writing that probed the problems and possibilities of Modernism. In his critical introduction, Iain Boyd Whyte asserts that his architectural and written work are inseparable and that one cannot be properly understood without examining the other. This volume gathers Berlage's comparatively neglected written works in English for the first time. Includes fine b&w illustrations. Paper edition (unseen), $45.00. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226965307
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
11/28/1995
Edition description:
1
Pages:
114
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)

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