Open main menu

Oriental Tales (French: Nouvelles orientales) is a 1938 short story collection by the French writer Marguerite Yourcenar. The stories share a self-consciously mythological form; some are based on pre-existing myths and legends, while some are new.[1] The story "How Wang-Fo Was Saved" was adapted into an animated short film by René Laloux in the 1980s.[2]

Oriental Tales
AuthorMarguerite Yourcenar
Original titleNouvelles orientales
TranslatorAlberto Manguel
PublisherÉditions Gallimard
Publication date
Published in English




Éditions Gallimard published the book in 1938. It was published in English in 1985 through Farrar, Straus & Giroux, in translation by Alberto Manguel in collaboration with the author.[1]


Susan Slocum Hinerfeld of Los Angeles Times called the book "a curiosity, a melange" and wrote about the stories: "They are meant to demonstrate virtuosity. Instead they demonstrate the dangers of imitation." The critic wrote that "the story of Wang-Fo, though rich in content, is 'faux-chinois', pretend-fantastic, coy. It is plainly a clumsy Western exercise in Chinese story telling", while "'The Man Who Loved the Nereids' is, in contrast, as radiant as Madame Yourcenar's mind. Clever, stylish, funny and original, an homage to Greek myth, it links the ancient and the modern worlds."[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Slocum Hinerfeld, Susan (1985-11-03). "Oriental Tales by Marguerite Yourcenar". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  2. ^ Moins, Philippe (2004-05-10). "René Laloux, The Man Who Made La Planète Sauvage (The Fantastic Planet)". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on 2013-01-21. Retrieved 2012-01-01.