Paul Willems at Podcastle

March 26th, 2013 § 0 comments

Paul Willems

Belgian fabulist Paul Willems’ fairy tale “The Colors of the World” (first published last year in Scheherezade’s Bequest #15) is now live at Podcastle, exquisitely read by Clarion West grad Marguerite Croft and generously guest-hosted by Mr. Wilson Fowlie.

Now, on the ninth day, toward evening, as the sun was painting a splendid golden pathway on the waters, Marie heard a marvelous song in the distance and saw, where the golden pathway reached the edge of the waves, a mermaid lying at the water’s edge. She sang of her seaweed castle in the depths of the sea, and of the child playing in its largest hall.

“Mermaid, is that my little girl?”

“Yes it is, your little girl, she’s in my castle at the bottom of the sea.”

“Mermaid, take me there!”

Paul Willems (1912-1997) belongs to the final generation of great Francophone Belgian fantasists of Flemish descent. He published his first novel, Everything Here is Real, in 1941. Three more novels and, toward the end of his life, two collections of short stories bracket his career as a playwright, for which he was best known in his lifetime. Donald Friedman’s translation of his late novella The Drowned Land was nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award. I’ve also published Mr. Willems’ work in Subtropics and Tin House.

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