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Old 12-11-2014   #71
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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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Old 12-11-2014   #72
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

As a lover of print and paper, I rarely read literature that is published online. Gauvin's translations of Quiriny is one of those rare exceptions - his stories are simply captivating. I hope that we will some day see a translation of his stories materialised in a book - a real, printed book.
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Old 03-01-2015   #73
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

In case anyone might be interested, fresh translations of Marcel Béalu posted here: Marcel Béalu: from Memoirs of the Dark | diseased gardens.com
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Old 09-19-2015   #74
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

I tried to find Yellowish Haze's cover gallery but the link seems dead, but I found this one.
https://www.facebook.com/MaraboutFan.../photos_stream

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Old 09-19-2015   #75
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

Thanks, Robert. I haven't realized such a page was there on FB. The covers should still be visible in my album: THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK

Let me know if you can see it.

"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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Old 09-20-2015   #76
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

Yes, I can see it now.

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Old 11-09-2015   #77
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

I just put up a new Franz Hellens translation at WFR. The story is "The Double" which Edward Gauvin mentions in his post about Hellens' work.

The Double | Weird Fiction Review

And here's Gauvin's essay on Hellens and his work:

The Many Doubles of Franz Hellens | Weird Fiction Review
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Old 11-26-2015   #78
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

I just finished reading de Ghelderode's L'écrivain public, the first story in Sortilèges, and I am stunned by the relentless Ligottian character of the piece. I don't just mean this in connection to the Borgesian notion that writers create their precursors, I mean the similarities in tone, theme and even language are uncanny. I suppose that Ligotti channels de Ghelderode the same way he channels Schulz or HPL occasionally, but a story built around an unreliable narrator living at the edge of town and his relationship with a wax effigy demands to be called Ligottian, even if it predates Ligotti's birth. At some point, the narrator says he felt évidée dans l'obscurité sidérale, which could be translated as "hollowed out in starry blackness" and if that is not something TL could, or indeed, has written, I am the chief of staff for the Mongol army.

Anyway, I can't wait to read the rest of the stories. My copy is the Gallimard edition, very cheap, very spartan. I bought it in the only French bookstore of this city, where I also found a copy of Cendrars' La Main coupée, which I didn't purchase, even though it was dirt cheap - Folio edition - because I am an idiot. De Ghelderode has an eye for obscure detail in psychological variation, a bit like de Maupassant: he transmits subtle change in emotion or perception with rare insight and elegance.

As always, I am astonished at how I have managed not to read writers, who seem to have written with me in mind as their ideal reader. My gratitude to the thread starter and everyone else participating in this thread. If my acquaintance with de Ghelderode is any indication, many pleasures await me in the Belgian School of the Strange.

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Old 01-06-2016   #79
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

I just noticed Edward Gauvin was recently interviewed in reference to Anne Richter's story "The Great Pity of the Zintram Family", which he translated into English.

"Temporal Dislocation in a Changing World": An Interview with Edward Gauvin

The Great Pity of the Zintram Family


Edit: And his translation of Paul Willem's "The Cathedral of Mist" is due to be published this year in May by Wakefield Press.

"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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Old 08-11-2016   #80
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Re: L'école belge de l'étrange

I just found out that Wakefield Press will publish the first comprehensive English translation of de Ghelderode's Sortilèges in October. This is a collection of stories I am still reading, as slowly as I possibly can, because it is a treasure chest of decadent and macabre delights. [Also because I don't have any bloody time anymore and I am a slower reader in French]

Ideally, you should just preorder it after you finish reading this post. Pure magnificence.

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