Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, October 12, 2015

"The Spell" by Iréne Nemirosky (1936)

A Short Story Set in the Ukraine by the Author of Suite Francaise 

Like almost everyone else, my literary love affair with Iréne Nemirosky (1903 to 1942) began with her Suite Francaise.  I have so far had the great pleasure and honor of reading eight of her fifteen novels and two of her fifty or so short stories.  

Lately I have been reading very dark stories by  Clarice Lispector and Constance Fenimore Woolson.  In a while I will write a post talking about all three together.  In a quick note, all died two young, two were descended from Eastern Euopean Jews that emigrated to avoid the anti-semiticism of their ancestoral home.  I will never escape the incredible evil inherent in Nemirosky's death in Auschwitz.  

I am delighted to have recently acquired a collection of ten of her short stories.  I have already posted on the title story.  "The Spell" centers  on the teenage girls of a wealthy family in the the Ukraine.  They live in a world of pleasure without a care in the world.  The descriptions of the family house with many retainers and a gorgeous dining routine that certainly made me jealous are beautiful and made me wish and feel I was there.  The girls gossip and wonder about the adults who often visit, some times for weeks.  They are trying to understand tne mystery of love.  One of the girls claims she can cast love spells.  Tne central "action" of the story comes when the other girls demand she cast a spell.

This story was a great pleasure to read, perhaps a relief from the witchcraft of Lispector and the misery of Woolson's stories.  

My great thanks to Max u for the Amazon Gift Card that allowed me to acquire this book.

Mel u

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