Regarnis la pipe. Si je dois raconter cette histoire comme il faut j'aurai besoin de son aide. C'est bien. Non, inutile de rajouter une bûche dans le feu. Laisse-le mourir. Il y a pire que obscurité...
The only downside to having a story reprinted in Bifrost, the French magazine of fantasy and science fiction, is that when my contributor's copy arrives, I must bitterly regret having never managed to learn to read French. What a lovely magazine! Well made, generously illustrated, and crammed with reviews, essays, interviews -- and fiction, of course. Were I not illiterate in all languages but one, I'd spend a very pleasant afternoon with with it.
The latest Bifrost is a special J. R. R. Tolkien: Voyages in Middle Earth theme issue, and it contains my own "The Changeling's Tale." It's about . . . well, why don't I quote something I wrote earlier? In an essay entitled "A Changeling Returns to Middle-earth," which was a summation of everything I knew and thought and felt about Tolkien's great work, I wrote:
Decades later, I wrote a story in homage to Tolkien, called “The Changeling’s Tale.” In it, a young tavern boy is swept up by a troupe of passing elves and carried away from hearth and home and all he knows and cares about. He pays a heavy price for the going, but he goes out of love for their beauty, their grace, and their strangeness, into a future of which all he can know is that it’s beyond his imagining. It was an honest story, I hope. But it also carried an autobiographical weight. Will Taverner was as close as I will ever come to a self-portrait. His story is not that different from mine. Long ago, I ran away with the elves, and I never came back.So now Will has made it all the way to France, a country I have never seen -- though I'm sure I'll visit it someday, to retrace the footsteps of Hope Mirrlees in Paris, if for no other reason. I wish the lad luck. It takes courage and bad judgment to run away with the elves, and I for one have never once regretted doing so.