Henri Bosco was a four-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Available in English for the first time, Malicroix tells the story of a recluse living in the French countryside, unraveling how he came to a life of solitude.
... [a] charming back-to-nature fantasia ... has a timeless, romantic quality ... Bosco was an ornately old-fashioned stylist even in his day, and Ms. Zonana’s unabashedly baroque translation—words like 'grandeur' and 'majesty' appear regularly and without irony—seems appropriate ... The doors of perception swing wide open.
It is just this tension, so wonderfully captured by Bosco, that makes Malicroix so very relevant today ... makes up for the stiffness of old language patterns with great gothic ambiance and suspense, both in the house in which Malicroix’s ghost may or may not dwell, and out, in the wilderness that is the end the main protagonist and the protector of all that lunacy-inducing wilderness, as we read to answer the question: Will Martial be able to remain in the marsh for the three months required to inherit? And if he does, will he have his sanity when all his self-isolation is well and done?
... [a] gothic historical par excellence ... Amid Martial’s paranoid and increasingly wild flights of imagination, brilliantly captured by Bosco in precise prose, he begins to uncover his great-uncle’s secrets. Bosco’s atmospheric investigation of the relationship between environment and mentality successfully merges haunted-house tropes and high modernism.