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By Marguerite Yourcenar

Amazon review:

Published to nice acclaim in France in 1993, this assortment isn't just a satisfaction for Marguerite Yourcenar fanatics yet a welcome port of access for any reader now not but acquainted with the author's lengthier, extra not easy works. the only real released paintings of fiction by means 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 warfare 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 mix of delusion 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 construction. In both case, A Blue story and different tales consists of the unmistakable voice of a powerful and enormously 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. some of 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 offered many literary honors, such a lot significantly election to the Académie Francaise in 1980, the 1st girl to be so honored.

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Editorial studies from Amazon:
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 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 jam-packed with sapphires, aided through a deaf-mute girl 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 by way of the ship's team, yet this act of violation signs the mariners' undoing. Male vanity and misogyny additionally underlie "The First Evening," which used to be written through Yourcenar's father, Michel de Crayencour, then revised and accomplished by way of 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, probably inflicted by means of a jealous rival's magic curse, is aided through a male healer's spell-breaking rituals. In sensual but specified 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 show 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 fantasy and the occult. basically "A Blue Tale," instructed solely 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 become aware of that his ex-mistress has been struck by means of a bus. the tale, created through Yourcenar's father as a tender guy and remodeled via the daughter, unearths the chilly, certain 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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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. There was no other way out. If he died in Algeria, she would go back alone, to her mother.

They would quarrel, like everyone else. Or would he allow himself to be gently possessed by that conjugal, paternal blindness he had so often mocked in others, overcome (one is always over­ come) by life, which tends to pour all beings into identical molds? Yet none o f this might happen. There are other possibilities, moments of happi­ ness or of sadness that one has neglected to invite, and that seek revenge by arriving all o f a sudden, un­ announced. She might die. He imagined her dead, lying in her coffin under a veil of white gauze; he saw himself, dressed in black, possessing, in the eyes of the fiftyyear-old women, the prestige of suffering a misfor­ tune.

In a hall of golden panels a Chinese woman dressed in orange called them impostors be­ cause the rings they offered her became invisible as soon as they touched her yellow skin. They failed to notice a woman dressed in black sitting at the end of the corridor, and when they inadvertently trod on a fold of her dress, she cursed them in the Tartar tongue in the name of the blue sky, in the Turkish tongue in the name of the sun, and in the tongue of the desert in the name of the sands. In a room hung with cob­ webs they drew no answer from a woman dressed in gray who was constantly feeling herself to ascertain 5 6 A Blue Tale her own existence; in a ruby-colored room they fled from a woman dressed in red who was losing all her blood from a deep wound in her breast but who seemed not to notice because her dress showed not the slightest stain.

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