Hear ye, hear ye! The fifth and latest issue of The Black Herald, bilingual gem of the Parisian literary scene, has arrived. Brainchild of Blandine Longre and Paul Stubbs, it is packed to the gills with work by exciting talents past, present, and future: David Gascoyne, Olive Moore, Egon Bondy, Rosemary Lloyd, Pierre Cendors, Andrew Fentham, Peter Oswald, Charles Nodier, Alistair Ian Blyth, Bensalem Himmich, Eurydice Antolin, Afonso Cruz, Heller Levinson, Anne-Sylvie Homassel, Philippe Annocque, David Spittle, Cécile Lombard, Jos Roy, Michael Lee Rattigan, Victor Segalen, César Vallejo, Anthony Seidman… and a never-before-published interview with Emil Cioran!
I am proud The Black Herald has chosen to feature my translation of Yves et Ada Rémy’s story “The House of the Nightjars,” from their classic volume of interconnected tales, Les Soldats de la mer [The Soldiers of the Sea]. Something between an alternate history and a midsummer night’s fantasy, it was first published in 1968 and has been multiply reprinted since.
Here’s an excerpt:
All the rest is but the noise of war now, squadrons passing at a gallop in the streets, teams hauling field guns and artillery carriages with their ironshod wheels, a din a thousand djinns could not have equaled; all the rest is but the noise of war now with cannons thundering beyond the hills, rising smoke, chasseurs à pied coming and going and fleeing, regiments moving off in tight columns, heavy and invincible and dissolving in the smoke of battle uphill from town as you watched war’s dishevelments from the dormer windows, your heart in your throat, eyes brimming with tears, and the wind flung that mad, bitter, venomous odor of burnt powder all over town; all the rest is but the noise of war now with soldiers in red uniforms, or blue, or green, running through the fields and up the hillsides, coming and going, up and down—like nightjars, child, flying toads, goatsuckers, in braying flocks. All the rest is now but the mad and wondrous face of war.
Husband and wife Yves and Ada Rémy are writers, filmmakers, and utterly charming people, who together have authored short stories, radio plays, and three other novels, one of which, La Maison du Cygne [The House of the Swan] won the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire at Utopiales in 1979.