Boutet, Frédéric

Tagged: Author

(1874-1941) French author, much of whose work contributed to the Decadent movement in France; it is of some very general interest as providing examples of the conte cruel, and in its occasional use of the topoi of Fantastika [see Checklist for relevant titles], the stories assembled in The Antisocial Man and Other Strange Stories (coll trans Brian Stableford 2013) tending to illustrate this aspect of Boutet's early career. The title novella of this compilation is a translation of the first title story in L'Homme sauvage et Julius Pingouin: Deux petites romans fantaisistes (coll 1902). Of more direct sf interest is the second title tale of this volume, translated in The Voyage of Julius Pingouin and Other Strange Stories (coll trans Brian Stableford 2013). Pingouin's voyage into regions adumbrated in Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838 2vols) mocks (but in the event honours) the conventions of the Fantastic Voyage tale, and as Brian Stableford suggests in his introduction comes far closer to the spirit of Poe than does Jules Verne in his almost contemporary Le Sphinx des glaces (1897 2vols; trans Mrs Cashel Hoey as An Antarctic Mystery 1898). Of the stories assembled in Claude Mercoeur's Reflection and Other Strange Stories (coll trans Brian Stableford 2013), at least two are sf. [JC]

Frédéric Boutet

born Bourges, Cher, France: 5 November 1874

died Arcachon, Gironde, France: 31 January 1941

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