In continuing coverage of things you might have missed this summer (when this blog lay sadly dormant while I was too busy to update), July saw the release of Belgian fabulist Paul Willems’ darkly lovely and delicate late-life story collection, The Cathedral of Mist, from Wakefield Press.
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.
Some stories from this collection may be previewed in these fine publications:
- “The Horse’s Eye” in Tin House #50: Beauty (2011)
- “The Colors of the World” in Scheherezade’s Bequest #15 (2012)
- “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
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.