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Misanthropic Tales

by S. Henry Berthoud
translated by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

Misanthropic Tales, first published in 1831, is the first collection of stories in a genre that was given numerous other titles—all equally inappropriate—by various practitioners before and after the one that eventually caught on to a greater extent than its rivals: Contes cruels. These are stories that set out to oppose the conventions of fiction that encourage embellishments of various sorts, including and especially the contrivance of “happy endings,” deliberately violating the ordinary reader’s hope and expectation that a story will end “well.”

In this, S. Henry Berthoud’s seminal volume, translated into English for the first time by Brian Stableford, we are offered thirty-four such tales of disenchantment, not so much stories as anti-stories to be enjoyed, in a connoisseur fashion, by discriminating readers possessed of refined taste, who are aware of the essential hypocrisy of the fictional conventions the tales defy and deny.

Published by Snuggly Books in February 2018
ISBN: 978-1-943813-53-7

The Brian Stableford Website