Weird Fiction in France

A Showcase Anthology of its Origins and Development
Edited & translated by Brian Stableford

Cover by Mike Hoffman

US$24.95/GBP 18.99
6x9 tpb, 332 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-61227-946-6
Stories by Alphonse Allais, S. Henry Berthoud, May Armand Blanc, Frédéric Boutet, Gaston Danville, Lucie Delarue-Mardrus, Erckmann-Chatrian, Paul Féval, Xavier Forneret, Anatole France, Judith Gautier, Théophile Gautier, Remy de Gourmont, Jules Hoche, Jules Janin, Gabriel de Lautrec, Jules Lermina, Jean Lorrain, Guy de Maupassant, Catulle Mendès, Gérard de Nerval, Charles Nodier, Jean Richepin, X. B. Saintine, Marcel Schwob, Auguste Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, Renée Vivien.
Weird fiction has long been not only unappreciated but actively maltreated by orthodox esthetic evaluation, but its stature has improved considerably in modern times, and that has encouraged a reexamination of the genre’s history.

It has required nearly two centuries since the beginnings of modern weird fiction in the cradle of the Romantic Movement for the concept to be properly formulated, and the course of its development usefully mapped.

That cartography can now be carried out with a reasonable degree of accuracy, as the present collection, albeit limited in time and space, hopefully illustrates. The book hopefully shows that fiction depicting hypothetical aberrations in nature or perception is not a necessarily a symptom of aberration on the part of the author, but frequently quite the opposite: evidence of a sanity contemplating its own potential limits and uncertainties, in a context that is esthetic rather than diagnostic. ‘

Romanticisme is not dead, and is no less preciously modern today than it was two centuries ago, and weird fiction is not the least of its achievements. 

One o’Clock; or, The Vision by Charles Nodier (1806)
The Delation by S. Henry Berthoud (1826)
The Amorous Revenant by Théophile Gautier (1836)
The Diamond in the Grass by Xavier Forneret (1840)
The Magnetized Corpse by Jules Janin (1845)
Red Wine and White Wine by Erckmann-Chatrian (1849)
The Green Monster by Gérard de Nerval 1849
Knightshade by Paul Féval (1860)
A Spider’s Revenge by Jules Lermina (1861)
Psylla, the Gold-Eater by X. B. Saintine (1864)
Claire Lenoir by Auguste Villiers de L’Isle-Adam (1867)
Doctor Quid by Jules Hoche (1878)
The Serpent-Flower by Judith Gautier (1882)
Wedding Night by Catulle Mendès (1885)
Ellen’s Spirit by Alphonse Allais (1885)
Le Horla by Guy de Maupassant (1887)
The Egregore by Jean Lorrain (1887)
The Double Man by Marcel Schwob (1890)
Leslie Wood by Anatole France (1892)
The Dark Angel by Gaston Danville (1892)
The Pensive Lady by Remy de Gourmont (1894)
The Plague-Man by Jean Richepin (1895)
The Great Flower by May Armand Blanc (1899)
Lucie’s Persistence by Frédéric Boutet (1903)
The Saurienne by Renée Vivien (1904)
Sonia’s Soul by Gabriel de Lautrec (1906)
The Archangel in the Cabaret by Lucie Delarue-Mardrus (1906)