Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Aymé, Marcel

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(1902-1967) French writer. His novels of French provincial life occasionally include Rabelaisian touches of fantasy. La Jument verte (1933; trans anon as The Green Mare 1938 UK; better trans Norman Denny 1955 UK) is about the complication of a 19th-century family feud by the eponymous supernatural visitor. The similarly supernatural figure of La Vouivre (1943; trans Eric Sutton as The Fable and the Flesh 1949 UK) is "the Lady of the Serpents", who leaves her jewels to tempt unwary thieves while she bathes. Uranus (1948; trans Denny as Fanfare in Blémont 1950 UK; vt The Barkeep of Blémont US) includes surreal passages in which one character believes he is being absorbed into the "negative being" of the eponymous planet. La Belle image (1941; trans Denny as The Second Face 1951 UK) is a more contemplative moral fable about a man whose face is remoulded in a more flattering way.

MA's plays, too, include several fantasies. Clérambard (1950; trans Denny 1952 UK; vt The Count of Clerambard US) involves a vision of St Francis of Assisi. Les Oiseaux de lune (1956) features a character who can turn humans into Birds. The title piece of Le Minotaure (coll 1967) is a tale of atavistic Transformation, while "Le Convention Belzébir", first performed a year earlier, is a futuristic Satire.

The Fairytales in Les contes du chat perché (coll 1939; trans Denny as The Wonderful Farm 1951 UK) and Autres contes du chat perché (coll 1954 chap; trans Denny as Return to the Wonderful Farm 1954 UK; vt The Magic Pictures: More About the Wonderful Farm US) are not intended solely as Children's Fantasy. Stories selected from six MA collections – Le Puits aux images (coll 1932), Le Nain (coll 1934), Derrière chez Martin (coll 1938), Le Passe-Muraille (coll 1943), Le Vin de Paris (coll 1947) and En arrière (coll 1950 France) – make up Across Paris and Other Stories (coll trans Denny 1950 UK; vt The Walker Through Walls 1962 US) and The Proverb and Other Stories (coll trans Denny 1961 UK); a selection from these two translated collections, with one other story, was issued as The Walker-Through-Walls and Other Stories (coll 1972 UK). These include numerous fantasies. [BS]

further reading: The Short Stories of Marcel Aymé (1980) by Graham Lord; Marcel Aymé (1987) by Lord.

Marcel André Aymé


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.