Pierrette Fleutiaux: The Queen’s Metamorphoses: The French Angela Carter?

The ogre’s wife is a secret vegetarian, a purger of eaten meats. A girl when the ogre abducts her, she believes him first an angel (in a snowstorm), then a devil (on a beach), mistaking his swiftness in seven-league boots for flight. The child’s perceptions are convincingly presented, and transparently horrifying; for adult readers, the crime is all the more chilling […]

Noël Devaulx: The Secret Master

Noël Devaulx is the secret master of the 20th century French fantastic,” I wrote in 2009. And by that I meant in letters, in essays, in interviews, in conversation, he was the name on everyone’s lips, everyone I was reading and researching. Scratch a French fantasist, find a reference to the former Breton engineer, René Forgeot, whose pseudonym had been […]

Marguerite Cassan: Develop in Darkness

We must refuse madness,” writes Marguerite Cassan at the end of “On the Line,” one of nine stories in Develop in Darkness (À développer dans l’obscurité, Laffont, 1967), and this tension between refusal and embrace, suspicion and abandon, fuels much of the book’s conflict, dividing those whom darkness touches from those who tell their tales. […]

Kavar the Rat

Translated by Edward Gauvin Thomas Owen (1910−2002) is the one name regularly cited with Jean Ray as a pillar of Belgian supernatural horror, and the nom de plume of Gérald Bertot: criminal lawyer, art critic, mystery writer, and career manager of a flour plant. Thomas Ligotti has praised Owen’s “meditative and intimate prose works” as part of […]