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Old 09-29-2014   #61
Robert Adam Gilmour
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

Great covers.

This Wikipedia article is surprisingly good. Links to an impressive looking book calledFrench Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Pulp Fiction by Jean-Marc Lofficier & Randy Lofficier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantastique
http://www.lofficier.com/frenchsf.htm

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Old 10-06-2014   #62
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

A translation of Maurice Renard's story, 'M. d'Outremont', now added to diseasedgardens:

Maurice Renard: M. dOutremort | diseased gardens.com

French though, not Belgian...
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Old 11-08-2014   #63
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

Edward Gauvin continues his exploration of francophone weird with a new article recently posted on The Weird Fiction Review :
Weird France and Belgium: A Best Of

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
Confusio Linguarum - visionary literature, translingualism & bibliophily
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Old 11-08-2014   #64
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

From that Fantastique Wikipedia article above I'm surprised I hadn't heard of Cazotte's Devil In Love before.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil_in_Love_(novel)
Seems to be one of the earliest horror or fantasy books and very important too.
Quite a few adaptations and even a tribute soundtrack with the likes of Art Zoyd, John Zorn and Jarboe!
http://www.recordshopx.com/artist/v_..._occult_novel/

I bought Nodier's Smarra and Trilby compilation recently and it's supposed to be a big deal too.

Both Cazotte and Nodier are in English from good ole Dedalus.

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Old 11-09-2014   #65
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

Marina van Zuylen's Monomania: The Flight from Everyday Life in Literature and Art contains a fascinating chapter about Charles Nodier entitled "The Cult of the Unreal: Nodier and Romantic Monomania." Unfortunately most of Nodier's work remains untranslated. The only Nodier I have read is "The Bibliomaniac," a sardonic conte fantastique. The bibliomaniac of the title is clearly mad, both transformed and doomed by his total withdrawal into obsession. There are many witty allusions to contemporaneous French literature that I didn't get (kind of like trying to read Pope's Dunciad). "The Bibliomaniac" is good but slight, and I was a little bit disappointed. I'm still very interested in reading more Nodier. The Wikipedia entry on Nodier contains the following sentence about his novel Le peintre de Salzbourg, journal des émotions d'un coeur souffrant, suivi des Meditations du cloître (1803): "The hero, Charles, who is a variation of the Werther type, desires the restoration of the monasteries, to afford a refuge from the woes of the world." Perhaps this novel would be a good example of the "literature of the recluse," which has been discussed in another thread on TLO.

Here are a few enticing quotes from Marina van Zuylen's chapter on Nodier:

"Like many of my other examples of artistic monomania, [Nodier's] work is yet another illustration of Flaubert's famous pronouncement that 'I write in order not to live.'"

"Nodier's peculiar brand of monomania offers an escape from a disintegrating spirituality by hastening worldly dispossession and providing an obsessive and single-minded substitute for prosaic entanglements. Rooted in the ability to create an alternative inner world, it facilitates the collapse of present, past, and future into one unified picture. Most interesting...is how this form of artistic monomania manages to be illness and cure simultaneously."

"Nodier's exploration of insanity...serves to reinforce his belief that a fearful schism is growing between the increasingly material Zeitgeist of an epoch that has overlooked the art of contemplation and individuals who simply cannot find a home within these pragmatic demands."

"The desire of re-enchantment pushed Nodier's work in the direction of abstraction. His writings are grounded, on the one hand, in the dissolution of form and, on the other hand, in the rejection of a prose based on external events and experiences. This expulsion of the real has as much to do with the non-figurative as it does with the dissolution of content into form, coupled with the radical rejection of any experience evocative of ordinary life."

"...These idealistic notions only make sense in the context of Nodier's belief in an ascetic mode of being. Asceticism, indeed, goes infinitely farther than a mere substitute to life. It is an integral part of the therapie de l'extraordinaire in which life will be experienced again both as uncanny and harmonious. The world will neither be explained, nor flattened by sweeping explanations, but animated by a joyous melancholy."


I wish I weren't a monolingual monomaniac.
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Old 11-09-2014   #66
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

Besides the Smarra & Trilby collection, the only other non-anthology English translation of Nodier I know of is an e-book of Infernaliana.

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Old 11-10-2014   #67
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

I just posted a fantastique story that I really enjoyed. It's "The Sound of the Mill" by Marcel Béalu and it's translated by Michael Cisco.

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2014/1...d-of-the-mill/

If people are interested, I have some other Béalu stories I can post on WFR. They aren't nearly as good as "The Sound of the Mill" though.
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Old 11-29-2014   #68
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange



A year ago, Yellowish Haze posted an image from a signed copy of Ghelderode's Sortilèges, but adding that he thought the signature wasn't original. I believe it is; I recently acquired a signed copy, a first edition of 1941, inscribed for Ghelderode's friend, the artist Jac Boonen (who figures in Roland Beyen's biography of Ghelderode). The two signatures clearly come from the same hand.

PS I recently reviewed and revised the two Ghelderode translations posted to Diseasedgardens.com The previous version contained a handful of errors of translation - minor ones, but still embarrassing.
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Old 12-02-2014   #69
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

Mostly French but some Belgian, Black Coat Press
http://www.blackcoatpress.com/

Someone has mentioned them on another thread but first time I was aware of them was when I bought Gaspard De La Nuit by Aloysius Bertrand (with intro by TED Klein and cover by Gahan Wilson).
Then I saw that they published two collections by Villiers De L'Isle-Adam.

Unfortunately their site is not the best designed to see what books they've got. For instance, Charles Nodier has stories on a few of their anthologies but on the authors page and on his own page, it doesn't tell you that his work is in Frankenstein Meets The Hunchback.
It would be nice if the cover art was bigger on the catalogue page.

They mostly specialise in French pulp heroes, but they mix it in with classic characters from all over the world. This interview sums up what they do..
ALL PULP: ALL PULP INTERVIEWS BLACK COAT PRESS!!! PULP LIVES WORLDWIDE!

There is quite a few translations of vampire tales from the 1800s, but I'm having real trouble finding standalone classic story collections and fantasy novels unconnected to continuing characters.

This collection of cruel stories by Jean Richepin sounds interesting..
http://www.blackcoatpress.com/madmen.htm

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Old 12-11-2014   #70
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

Quote Originally Posted by Hieronimo View Post


A year ago, Yellowish Haze posted an image from a signed copy of Ghelderode's Sortilèges, but adding that he thought the signature wasn't original. I believe it is; I recently acquired a signed copy, a first edition of 1941, inscribed for Ghelderode's friend, the artist Jac Boonen (who figures in Roland Beyen's biography of Ghelderode). The two signatures clearly come from the same hand.
Many thanks for bringing this to my attention. How serendipitous to come across a signed copy of Ghelderode's Sortilèges on the first day in Brussels! You really made my day with this information.

BTW, I have recently read two interviews that readers of this thread should enjoy:
Interview with Bernard Quiriny by Edward Gauvin
Bernard Quiriny is considered by many to be the modern master of the Belgian School of the Strange.
What i find particularly captivating in this interview is the fact that once again it confirms the Belgian School as more than just a literary tradition. There is something very special in that particular culture that provides a fertile ground for many fantastiquers:

Quote
What’s your take on the fantastical tradition known as the “Belgian School of the Bizarre” (L’École belge de l’etrange)? Are you part of it?
My relations with Belgian writers of the fantastique are somewhat…bizarre. When I started writing fantastical tales, I knew nothing, or almost nothing about them. Then, when I published my first collection, I was told: “This one’s like X, that one’s like Y,” X and Y being Belgian like me. Lo and behold, it was so. Same with my second collection. “This is like W, that’s like Z.” Lo and behold again, it was so. In hindsight, I discovered an unwitting and patriotic cousinhood with Michel de Ghelderode (Sortilèges), Marcel Mariën (Le fantôme du château de cartes), Jacques Sternberg (Contes glacés), Marcel Thiry (Nouvelles du grand possible—I even received the prize that bears his name, given by the town of Liège!), etc. Apart from a genetic predisposition, I have no other explanation for the fact that I’m so like these authors who couldn’t have influenced me, since I only read them after I wrote my stories. Or—with analogy to the idea of “plagiarism by anticipation” recently advanced by critic Pierre Bayard—I was the victim of a kind of “retrospective influence”: that is to say, I was influenced by these authors before reading them. It’s quite possible.
The second interview is with Jean-Baptiste Baronian* who, as you know, coined the term L'école belge de l'étrange.

*alas, this one is available only in French and here is linked as google-translated into English

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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