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Review of OSC's short story "Vessel" by Pascal J. Thomas


Pierre-Alexandre Sicart's French translation of OSC's short story "Vessel" was published in the anthology Identités, and the following review by Pascal J. Thomas recently appeared:

L'autre sommet de l'anthologie est niché en fin de deuxième partie - mais il s'agit d'une traduction, c'est pas du jeu - et due à la plume de nul autre qu'Orson Scott Card, excusez du peu. " Le Réceptacle ", paru à l'origine en 2008, n'est pas le plus cruel ou le plus surprenant de ses textes, mais il reste aussi caractéristique qu'inoubliable. Un garçon qui se sent inadapté dans sa famille et dans la société a la capacité d'absorber les souvenirs des gens qui sont morts dans un endroit donné. Comme souvent chez Card, le protagoniste est à la fois victime (et possible objet de pitié) et coresponsable de sa victimisation (et probable objet de mépris). Et pétri de désir de vengeance. Mais sa grandeur sera de refuser cette évidente vengeance, et de vivre une vie paisible et sans intérêt. Je n'aurai pas cru Card capable de surprendre encore autant son monde après trente ans de carrière d'écrivain. Diable d'homme.

(Pascal J. Thomas, KWS 62-63, juillet 2009)

The other apex of the anthology can be found at the end of the second part-but it's a translation, that's cheating-and is due to the pen of none other than Orson Scott Card, if you please. "Vessel," first published in 2008, isn't the cruelest or most surprising of his stories, yet it is as characteristic as it is unforgettable. A young boy who feels he doesn't really belong in his family or in society in general has the ability to absorb the memories of people who died in a specific place. As is often the case in Card's work, the protagonist is both the victim (and potential object of pity) and co-responsible of his victimization (and probable object of contempt). And burning with a desire for vengeance. But his greatness will be to reject this obvious revenge, and to live a peaceful, uninteresting life. I wouldn't have believed Card able to still surprise us after a writing career of thirty years. What an astonishing fellow.

(Pascal J. Thomas, KWS 62-63, July 2009)


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