In the Pipeline: The Cathedral of Mist, by Paul Willems

January 31st, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink


Forthcoming in late spring, my second book with the wonderful Wakefield Press after Jean Ferry’s The Conductor in 2013: an exquisite collection of six stories and two essays by Belgian fabulist Paul Willems. The Cathedral of Mist will take its place, after two books by Paul Scheerbart, in Wakefield’s series Imagining Architecture, which focuses on fantastical architecture, imaginary urbanism, and hallucinatory dwellings. The collection features a cover and interior illustrations by Bette Burgoyne, whose work has previously been featured by Will Schofield on 50watts.

Some stories from the book previously appeared (in slightly different form) in these fine publications:

  • “The Horse’s Eye” in Tin House #50: Beauty (2011)
  • “Cherepish” in Subtropics #13 (2012)
  • “The Cathedral of Mist” in Tin House #58: Winter Reading (2013)
  • “Requiem for Bread” at The Open Bar, Tin House’s blog (forthcoming)

Willems’ delicate original fairytale “The Colors of the World” (not in the forthcoming collection) was published in in Scheherezade’s Bequest #15 (2012) and podcast in 2013 at Podcastle, read aloud by Marguerite Croft.


Paul Willems (1912-1997) belongs to the final generation of great Francophone Belgian fabulists of Flemish descent. Four novels and two story collections bracket his career as a playwright, for which he was best known in his lifetime. He published his first novel, Everything Here is Real, in 1941. Donald Friedman’s translation of his late novella The Drowned Land was nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award and published with Suzanne Burgoyne’s translation of his play La Vita Brève in an edition from Peter Lang in 1994.



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