Thursday, June 10, 2010

"The Child of the High Seas." Jules Supervielle

Review: An island in the deep sea. An uninhabited village. A lone child of twelve lives there. All alone. When ships come within sight of the island, the child disappears. No one has seen the island. The child of twelve lives there in the abandoned town. She learns there. She studies her grammar book there.

One day a tugboat goes right through the island, but the tugboat is not aware that it is crossing the island. The child tries to call “Help” but cannot. A wave tries to bring the mercy of death to her, but it cannot kill her.

That is because a sailor remembering his own twelve-year-old daughter whom he had lost has imagined her and the village in the sea and has given life to this imaginary child and town in the middle of the sea.

Great French Short Stories. Germaine Brée. New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc. 1960.

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