Frédéric Boutet: The Ghost of M. Imberger (part two)

Frédéric Boutet The Ghost of M. Imberger (part two)                 But when three o’clock passed, M. Imberger still was not there. Mme Imberger now felt worried. The guests were beginning to take their leaves. M. Imberger was punctuality itself, how had he not arrived? She told her anxiety […]

Frédéric Boutet: The Ghost of M. Imberger (part one)

New for Translation Thursday, the short stories of Frédéric Boutet, born at Bourges, 1874; died 1941 as a refugee at Arachon (WWII), a writer of mystery with occult overtones, in his lifetime compared to Poe. These stories are from Le Spectre de M. Imberger, Flammarion, 1922, public domain.   Frédéric Boutet The Ghost of M. […]

Sympathy for the Torturer: Fourth Tourmaline (part two)

Tourmaline Sympathy for the Torturer (part two)               Herward said, “Is that enough? I’ll go back.” He touched often, and did so now, tapping Anton on the wrist and pointing to show the queue empty. “More bread.” “Have mine.” Then: “Now, listen. How would it be…how would you personally […]

Tourmaline (conclusion)

Tourmaline Tourmaline (conclusion)           Nearing an outcrop of rock that formed a cove with a brutal undertow, Anton saw the usual small craft, that rowed out to the anchored boats. His ear was attuned for the first time to snatches of the peninsular speech, the patois of the fishmongers. He was […]

Tourmaline (part three)

Tourmaline Tourmaline (part three)           “Where the adjectival phrase takes the place of a noun, where we grammarians employ the hyphenated construction…which is, of course, a bit of shorthand for us…I mean for us alone. They, while officially, the nomads use our own alphabet…” Professor Swisshelm removed his plug of tobacco […]

Tourmaline (part two)

Tourmaline Tourmaline (part two)           They were touching, packed that tightly, twisting shoulders to avoid intimacy; by this, still effaced and invisible to one another. They were queued so far along the street, he doubted he could respect Palma’s curfew. He doubted he would be fed at all. Here were three […]

Tourmaline (part one)

Tourmaline Tourmaline (part one)             Anton nearly smiled. The glass kept steaming up, over and over. Because in a downstairs chamber something, he did not know what, boiled. Had it been sour cabbage, he would have felt envious, hungry as he’d always been. But he never smelled anything cook in […]

The Blue Bird (conclusion)

Short Stories The Blue Bird (conclusion)             She backed into the living room and picked up the TV remote. The news channel showed three women on lounge seating, two resting hands on books. One read aloud from hers. They were not personalities Gitana had ever seen. Someone had told them […]

The Blue Bird (part four)

Short Stories The Blue Bird (part four)           “So,” she told him, standing. “Here’s what I’ve decided, for today. I’m going over to Glimmerings. I’m going to put a note up on the board…get in touch with me. I don’t care…” She raised her voice. Dave was comfortable falling into his […]

The Blue Bird (part three)

Short Stories The Blue Bird (part three)               The person who lived here, number 46, had gone someplace. They’d all gone someplace. She went back down the hall…rattling knobs along the way, aggressive. She got to the landing, and turned to watch. No door tentatively inched back. No head […]