Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Howling

For tonight's countdown to Halloween post I have another reading suggestion: The Howling by Gary Brandner. Flawed novel that is the source material of an equally flawed movie, at least the book does not go into self-parody. Not voluntarily anyway. Sure it's often predictable and contrived but it has good old fashioned malevolent werewolves. And they enjoy their beastly nature. The story is simple: Karyn and her husband Roy leave Los Angeles (after she'd been raped) to the remote village of Drago, which turned out inhabited by werewolves. While Karyn makes for a rather annoying heroine of the damsel in distress kind, surrounded by stereotypical characters, it still has lots of atmosphere, eerie moments, a decent amount of violence and a good deal of suspense. There's also a rather neat prologue that sets up nicely the origins of Drago and its evil nature. Brandner is no Lovecraft, but he can write a decent yarn. And it's a quick and easy read too: you can finish it in a day. With all its flaws I preferred it to the movie.

La chèvre et le petit loup


Nous sommes allés à un zoo (enfin un mini-zoo) il y a quelques semaines et j'y ai pris quelques photos. Notre petit loup a beaucoup aimé, son animal préféré était peut-être la chèvre. Pas pour en faire ce qu'en a fait le loup de la chèvre de Monsieur Seguin, même si j'ai eu une pensée pour l'histoire d'Alphonse Daudet en la voyant. Ça n'a aucun rapport, mais je partage très peu de photos familiales sur ce blogue, j'ai pensé que je pourrais faire une exception avec celle-ci.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Pumpkin carving party on the 29?

Disclaimer: these are not Jack O'Lanterns I have carved, I just took a picture of them when I walked during trick or treats two years ago. Anyway, I told you at the beginning of the month that the Ticklers wanted to do a pumpkin carving party like last year. Well, it might happen on the 29th. They are going on a week holiday for half term, so if they are not too tired, that will be then. It would be great if it happens. Apparently they are very eager.

Le Bonhomme Sept Heures

Je ne sais pas d'où vient cette image, que j'ai trouvée dans les internet. Mais elle est superbe et montre très bien pourquoi et comment le Bonne Sept-Heures est une créature effroyable du folklore québécois. D'ailleurs, quand enfant j'ai appris "l'existence" du Bonhomme, j'en ai eu de la difficulté à dormir. J'ai déjà demandé dans une question existentielle (la 244) quel personnage du folklore québécois méritait d'être associé au folklore de l'Halloween. Dans les réponses, le Bonhomme Sept Heures est venu spontanément. Je crois qu'il mériterait à hanter nos rues lorsqu'on passe l'Halloween.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Eerie Tales from Transylvania

I found the reading for tonight's countdown to Halloween in an Oxfam in Bath more than ten years ago. So it is a rarity which you might struggle to find. The book is titled Ghosts, Vampires, and Werewolves: Eerie Tales from Transylvania. And boy does it deliver! Not all tales are scary but those who are... Apart from the creatures of the title you'll find in it the guardian spirit of a forest who is not shy of killing with extreme prejudice to fulfill his duty, devils in all forms and a number of other critters and weird primitive customs. It's chilling but fascinating, giving you a lot of information about the land and its people's culture that is free from the "contaminations" of a certain Gothic novel (which I nevertheless love). Special mention to The Red Emperor's Son, a bizarre dreamlike fairy tale that is literally the stuff of nightmares.

Le poème de la citrouille

J'ai pris une citrouille
J'en ai fait un lampion
Lampion couleur de rouille
Le nez en tire-bouchon
(...)
De gros yeux immobiles
Et le sourire fade.

J'ai déjà blogué sur ce poème. Je l'ai appris par coeur en troisième année, je ne me souviens plus du milieu du poème, seulement de son début et de sa fin. La troisième année n'a pas été ma préférée, mais tout ce qui concerne l'Halloween à l'école, je m'en rappelle et ce sont des bons souvenirs. Je ne crois pas qu'il y ait aucune trace du poème de la citrouille, malheureusement. À part sur ce blogue. J'ai cherché en ligne, je n'ai rien trouvé, je ne sais pas où mes profs de troisième année l'avaient dégotté, peut-être était-ce leur propre imagination, mais j'en doute un peu. Enfin, si par hasard vous connaissez le reste, faites-le moi savoir dans les commentaires.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

"Never too old for trick or treat"

This is my third (!) countdown to Halloween post in a day and my fourth post all in all. Sometimes it happens, even in my busy life. Anyway, I commute by bus and in the morning I share part of my commute with teenagers going to school. Last week, one of the boys, about 13-14 I'd say as saying to his friends that he loves Halloween and going trick or treating, although his mother finds that he is too old for it. One of the girls said: "You are never too old for trick or treat, never too old to disguise yourself and knocks on strangers doors to ask for sweets!" I thought it deserved to be quoted here as a new great unknown line. Because it is so true. She is wise beyond her years.

Vous qui faites l'endormie...

Quand l'Halloween approche, j'ai un programme musical assez précis et éclectique. J'écoute notamment le Faust de Gounod. Je n'aime pas tous les opéras du XIXe siècle, mais celui-ci disons qu'il a de la gueule. Et puis la légende de Faust est en soi fascinante. Je partage donc ici ce soir l'un de ses arias. Que j'ai déjà partagé. Mais comme ça fait quasiment une décennie... Enfin, partager des arias de Faust est un peu une tradition sur Vraie Fiction.

Ghosts and green tea

Quick blog post for Halloween. It is both a reading suggestion and a warning and sorry if there is no spooky picture to accompany it. So anyway, I have recently rediscovered Sheridan Le Fanu by reading In a Glass Darkly. For the third time in my life, I read Green Tea, the story of a clergyman haunted by a demonic black monkey which may be an hallucination triggered by... green tea. Or else green tea is the drug used to unleash the forbidden gates of Hell, or something. I strongly suspect that the monkey was embodiment of Darwin's theory of evolution, but nevermind that for now. You can read this spooky tale online here. As for green tea, it appears that it was like heroin or a powerful sort of LSD for the man of God of the Victorian era. So drink it in moderation. That was my warning.

Des oies dans la brûme


Je voulais partager cette autre photo saisissante de ma cousine Amy l'artiste-photographe. Parce que c'estvraiment une photo superbe, à mettre dans la catégorie célébration de la quintessence de l'automne sur Vraie Fiction. J'aurais aimé y être.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Haunted portraits

This is today's countdown to Halloween post. I mentioned before and more importantly in this post the Golden Fleece Inn in York, which has the reputation to be the most haunted pub in England. Or at least it boasts itself to be. We had a pleasant evening there, but we never saw any ghost of any kind.Or, I should say, we did not see any real, supernatural ghost. There were plenty of made up ones, or some strange occurrences that would have fooled the inebriated customer. Such as some portraits in the pub. At first sight, they are black and white pictures of ordinary people, maybe upper middle class from another time, early 20th century or maybe late 19th.

Then you look at the portrait under a different angle, and this is what you see: deformed features, cracked faces, fangs, horns, disgusting grin, devil's eyes. The best or most gruesome face I saw is the one that accompanies this post. I have read a thing or two about haunted portraits, but never imagines they could be like this. One can only be glad this is a mere image and that the abomination on it cannot escape the frame. Or can it? It is cheap parlour tricks, but I think there is inspiration here for a good horror story or two.

Comme un air de famille...

Pour bien vous faire commencer la journée, voici un gag de Mafalda qui m'a toujours bien fait rire. C'est parce que c'est pas mal de ça que j'ai l'air chaque matin, surtout les matins de semaine: échelevé et hagard. Ça me rejoint donc beaucoup.

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Halloween Interview

Quick countdown to Halloween post for those who do not know: I have been interviewed on Halloween by AEIOU. You can read the interview here. What can I say, fame at last! Please do tell me what you think in the interview's comments section and here as well. And next time I will blog something more substantial and less self-referential for the countdown, promise.

Pas de photo du mois...

Tiens, je m'en suis rendu compte hier: ça aurait été le temps de la photo du mois, mais je n'y participe plus depuis quelques temps déjà. Je ne sais pas si ça m'attriste ou non. Je me sens plus libre, cela dit la photo du mois permettait à Vraie Fiction de se faire connaître par toute une communauté de blogueurs (francophones surtout) et forcément je pouvais découvrir beaucoup d'autres blogues. Et ça me forçait aussi à être créatif. Je serais tenté de me réinscrire, sauf que je ne crois toujours pas avoir le temps.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Officious Beer of Halloween

Quick countdown to Halloween post for tonight, as I had a very busy Sunday. My apologies if it looks familiar with my long time readers and if it sounds a bit like a plus you already read recently here. But in any case, I cannot neglect mentioning my favourite ale for Halloween, my poison for the season and the officious beer of Halloween: Wychwood Brewery's Hobgoblin. Good all year round, but especially this time of year. And while you cannot judge a beer by its label, let's face it, they went out of their way to have a truly cool bottle this year and really put you in a spooky mood. If you drink one beer for Halloween, it has to be this one.

Question existentielle (314)

Une question existentielle dominicale:

-Le dimanche, vaut-il mieux sortir pour s'amuser ou rester à la maison pour faire des tâches ménagères?

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow

For today's countdown to Halloween post, I am plugging a game which ironically I never played. But I was always fascinated by The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow. I bought it for my brother Andrew in its original French version, then to Blonde Tickler for her birthday, even though it's a bit old for her. It's not a role-playing game per se, but it's pretty close and the perfect game for Halloween. You can play a werewolf, one of its potential victims and/or a series of stock characters (the witch, the little girl, the hunter, etc.) that would easily find their place in an old Hammer movie. If you are a werewolf, your goal is to eat all the villager and survived their wrath. If you are a villager, it is to survive yourself and kill all the werewolves (and not be mistaken as one!) It could really make for the basis of a series of scary stories.

La sauvagine en automne

On va trouver que je ne varie pas vraiment les sujets de mes billets ces temps-ci, mais je n'ai pas pu résister: voici une photo prise par ma cousine Amy l'artiste-photographe. Des bernaches en automne. En une image, vous pouvez voir pourquoi c'est ma saison préférée.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Friday the 13th, black cats and Halloween

Halloween this year falls on a Tuesday, which is not great. But we can console ourselves that it means that we have one Friday the 13th this month. Which is today. For those who like Friday the 13th anyway. But in any case, it's a good excuse as any to show pictures of black cats. There cannot be a Friday the 13th without black cats, Halloween would not be Halloween without black cats either, so I am sharing a picture of our beloved cat Odin, who sadly passed away four years ago. I shared this picture before, but I don't have so many of them.

La momie

J'ai pris cette photo à l'entrée d'un pub mal famé de la ville où je vis. Car aujourd'hui, j'aimerais parler de la momie comme personnage d'Halloween. Le cinéma lui a fait une assez belle part, mais pas autant que d'autres créatures comme les vampires ou les loups-garous. Et les zombies donc, qui ont franchement moins de personnalité. Dans la littérature, elle est plus absente. Je me souviens avoir lu à l'université Le roman de la momie de Théophile Gautier et avoir été déçu que ce ne soit pas un roman d'horreur. Comment se fait-il qu'elle ne soit pas un peu plus populaire comme monstre?