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Yourcenar, Marguerite (Translated by Alberto Manguel) : A Blue Tale And Other Stories
University Of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1995
First Edition / First Printing. Fine in Fine Dust Jacket. 82 pages. Collection of three novella-length stories. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Marguerite Yourcenar's "A Blue Tale And Other Stories" in a felicitous English translation. A spellbinding collection. "Written between 1927 and 1930, when Yourcenar (1903-1987) was in her mid-20's, these three exquisite stories prefigure the French novelist's mature dramatic powers. In the title piece, Yourcenar describes the external world in myriad shades of blue. Unfolding like a folk tale, this tonal experiment concerns a band of seafaring European merchants (Dutch, Irish, Greek, Castilian) who seek a cave full of sapphires, aided by a deaf-mute female slave with blue-black hair. She is kidnapped by the greedy Greek merchant (her tears turn to aquamarines), then stripped and lashed to the mast by the ship's crew, but this act of violation signals the mariners' undoing. Male arrogance and misogyny also underlie 'The First Evening', which was written by Yourcenar's father, Michel de Crayencour, then revised and completed by her in a curious collaboration. Honeymooning with his new wife, a man resents receiving the news that his ex-mistress has thrown herself under a bus. In 'The Evil Spell', set in a Mediterranean village, an Italian peasant woman dying of tuberculosis, seemingly inflicted by a jealous rival's magic curse, is aided by a male healer's spell-breaking rituals. In sensual yet precise prose, Yourcenar probes the workings of greed, faith, credulity, and empathy in human relationships" (Publishers Weekly). An absolute "must-have" title for Marguerite Youcenar collectors. This title is a great collection. This is one of few copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A scarce copy thus. The first woman to be elected to the Academie Francaise in 1980. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. . ISBN 0226965309.
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