Manifestations de la mort dans deux recueils de nouvelles : « L’horizon bleu de la mort » de Marin Preda et « Geotenn ar Werhez » de Jakez Rioù

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Diarmuid Johnson


This article offers a reading of two volumes of short stories, 'Geotenn ar Werhez' by Breton author Jakez Rioù (1899-1937) and 'L’horizon bleu de la mort' by the Romanian Marin Preda. Both works describe traditional agrarian societies, one in western the other in eastern Europe, in the early to mid-twentieth century. We examine here attitudes to death and manifestations of death in Rioù’s and Preda’s writing. The thrust of the article is to suggest that these works provide rare insights into rural life in Europe before the advent of mechanisation. This leads us to consider litterature in the Celtic languages, Breton in this instance, and Romanian, as a primary sources for evidence of aspects of European culture little documented in the metropolitan traditions of other languages. Rioù’s text is translated by Youenn Drezen, Preda’s by Micaela Slăvescu.


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  1. RIOÙ, J. (1957): Geotenn ar Werhez. Brest : Emgleo Breiz.
  2. RIOÙ, J., DREZEN Y. (1947): L’herbe de la vierge. Nantes : Aux Portes du Large.
  3. PREDA, M. (1982): L’horizon bleu de la mort. Bucarest : Cartea Românească.
  4. MENDRAS, H. (1967 [1984]): La fin des paysans. Arles : Babel.