Michael Dirda reviews The Conductor by Jean Ferry

January 23rd, 2014 § 0 comments

The January 15th Washington Post sports Michael Dirda’s review of two Wakefield titles, Jean Ferry’s The Conductor and Other Tales, translated by yours truly, and Pierre Mac Orlan’s A Handbook for the Perfect Adventurer, translated by Napoleon Jeffries.

The Pulitzer prize-winning Dirda is one of our country’s most perceptive and dedicated critics when it comes to fantastical work… and one of the few English speakers ever to write on Ferry outside of a ‘Pataphysics or Rousselian context. I had recourse to his essay “Frank Confessions” while composing my introduction to the Ferry collection, which I am immensely proud to state that Mr. Dirda qualifies as “excellent.” Calling Ferry’s very short stories “Scrumptious Petites Frites,” Mr. Dirda also says:

Big, ambitious works tend to get all the ink and attention, but smaller books, sometimes consisting of little more than charm and idiosyncrasy, are often the ones we come to love. I opened “The Conductor and Other Tales,” by Jean Ferry, and found myself, to use one of those no-no words among serious reviewers, enchanted. In tone and subject matter, these two dozen very short stories may remind you of Italo Calvino or Steven Millhauser at their most beguiling.

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