The Tarantulas' Parlor and Other Unkind Tales
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The Tarantulas' Parlor and Other Unkind Tales

by Léon Bloy
Release date: October 17, 2016
Original title: Histoires désobligeantes
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, horror, mainstream, short stories
Tags: translation

The original collection was published in Paris in 1894 by E. Dentu. Translated by Brian Stableford.

Praised by Borges, the Unkind Tales of Léon Bloy were produced in a phase of literary evolution that was exploratory and experimental, and hence intrinsically exciting. Lingering on the frontiers of Decadence, Naturalism, and Symbolism, these stories of the damned and the foolish, of terrible fates and ludicrous situations, helped map out the terrain of the conte cruel and are, probably, the author’s most noteworthy work.

In this, an authoritative translation of the volume originally published as Histories désobligeantes, Brian Stableford, in both his insightful introduction and his superb rendering of the tales, shines a much-needed light on Bloy’s savage genius.


  • The Tisane
  • The Old Man of the House
  • Monsieur Pleur's Religion
  • The Tarantulas' Parlor
  • Plan for a Funeral Oration
  • The Captives of Longjumeau
  • A Bad Idea
  • Two Phantoms
  • The Terrible Punishment of a Dentist
  • Alain Chartier's Reawakening
  • The Obliging Stroker
  • The Monsieur's Past
  • "Whatever You Want!"
  • The Last Firing
  • The End of Don Juan
  • A Martyr
  • Suspicion
  • Calypso's Telephone
  • Worn Out
  • A Failed Sacriledge
  • "There's Trouble Brewing!"
  • The Silver Mote
  • A Well-Nourished Man
  • The Bean
  • Digestive Proposals
  • A Cry from the Depths
  • The Reading Room
  • No One's Perfect
  • "Let's Be Reasonable!"
  • Jocasta on the Sidewalk
  • Cain's Lucky Find
  • The Animal-Lover
updated 2017-01-16

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