Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Ramuz, Charles-Ferdinand

(1878-1947) Swiss-born French writer whose first works, like Aline (1905), were naturalistic tales in a somewhat affectedly simple Diction, but whose later works – published in response to the apocalyptic experience of WWI – tended to fantasy as tinged with Allegory, like his libretto for The Soldier's Tale (1918), put to music as a Pantomime-ballet by Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), in which the eponymous returning soldier meets the Devil and (> Read the Small Print) swaps his violin for a "magic" Book which will bring him fame. Le Reigne de l'Esprit Malin (1917; trans anon as The Reign of the Evil One 1922 US) is a Christian Fantasy in which Satan impersonates Christ, re-enacting his life in Parody form and corrupting a small Swiss village; at the heart of the tale, a bleak saturnalian Revel brings the dead to life, and elicits from Satan the statement that only the powers of Earth count, for we are now beyond Good and Evil. Presence de la Mort (1922; trans Allan Ross Macdougall and Alex Comfort as The End of All Men 1944 US; rev trans vt The Triumph of Death 1946 UK) is sf. In La Beauté sur la Terre (1927; trans anon as Beauty on Earth 1929 UK) a village is maddened by the supernatural beauty of a servant girl. In Derborence (1935; trans S F Scott as When the Mountain Fell 1949 UK) the miraculous survival of a young man in an avalanche generates a widespread mythopoeic response. [JC]

Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz


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.