A Sunken City of Ys

(I found a book about Death legends in Brittany, and I couldn’t resist. Then I encountered a chapter all about a sunken city I had never heard of…and I just had to explore it. Come with me on this trip to the sunken City of Is.) One night, some sailors from Douarnenez were moored inContinue reading “A Sunken City of Ys”

“The Wondrous Scarab,” an Alsatian folktale

Strangely enough, I’ve encountered many Alsatian folktales about scarab beetles. I say strange, because when I think of scarab beetles I immediately picture Ancient Egypt, but here we are instead in the liminal forests between France and Germany, encountering many forms of wondrous scarabs1. This particular folktale is pulled from the collection Révue des traditionsContinue reading ““The Wondrous Scarab,” an Alsatian folktale”

“The Astronomical Clock of Strasbourg Cathedral”

I translated this particular version of the tale from Récits historiques et légendaires d’Alsace, collected by Robert Wolf. 1922. For a long time the Strasbourg Cathedral clock remained unfinished. The master who had invented it had died without finding anyone capable of finishing his work. At last a foreign master craftsman who promised he could finishContinue reading ““The Astronomical Clock of Strasbourg Cathedral””

“The Enchanted Armies of Ochsenfeld,” an Alsatian folktale

(Originally posted February 2018) I translated this particular version of the tale from Récits historiques et légendaires d’Alsace, collected by Robert Wolf. 1922. Not far from Cernay lies a great, desolate plain called the Ochsenfeld1 cattlefield. There, come evening, a faint clatter of weapons can often be heard. It is here that the armies of the infamous sons ofContinue reading ““The Enchanted Armies of Ochsenfeld,” an Alsatian folktale”

“Tales of Christmas Horror from Illzach, France”

‘Twas the Wednesday before Christmas…. (Originally posted to Patreon as a Christmas special for my patrons, 2018) From Illzach: The Beast of the Wednesday Before Christmas (oral tradition, recorded in the Revue des traditions populaires, 1901) This phantom animal is the size of a year-old calf; its eyes glow like lightning and are as bigContinue reading ““Tales of Christmas Horror from Illzach, France””

Obscure French Folklore in Out-of-Print Collections (Review)

(Originally published in May 2016) Well, this post is going to be a bit different, since I’ll essentially be presenting and reviewing two out-of-print French books, but stick with me. Two Christmases ago I received several collections of Alsatian/Lorraine and Breton/Gallo folklore to feed my obsession.  Among them were Alsatian-centric Dragons, fantômes, et trésors cachésContinue reading “Obscure French Folklore in Out-of-Print Collections (Review)”

“The Silver Rose,” an Alsatian folktale

(Originally posted in the Folktales’ section of the little translator website, June 30, 2016) I translated this particular French version of the tale from the Castles of France website, and this version has been frequently posted in other folktale centers around the Internet. Other versions were collected by or referenced to Auguste Stoeber, either inContinue reading ““The Silver Rose,” an Alsatian folktale”

“The White Lady of Kœpfle Hill”

(Posted to the site February 2016) Translated from the folktale “LA DAME BLANCHE DU KŒPFLE” collected by the Alsatian folklorist Auguste Stoeber, translated into French by René Stiébel and published in Revue des traditions populaires, volume 16 in 1901. Between Didenheim and Zillisheim is a hill, belonging to this last town, called Kœpfle. A whiteContinue reading ““The White Lady of Kœpfle Hill””

“The Faerie’s Gift of Tears”

(Originally posted 2015) “La fée des larmes” (“The Faerie of Tears”) is an Alsatian folktale with French subtitles provided free-to-view by Espace ressources Sàmmle, an organization for the preservation of Alsatian culture. Their description of the tale is as follows, translated: The faerie of tears is a tale of the fantastic which takes place inContinue reading ““The Faerie’s Gift of Tears””

“The Nymph of Wangenbourg Castle”

(Originally posted January 2015) Translated from “La Nymphe du château de Wangenbourg,” from the Castles of France website, legends section. Once, a long time ago in Wangenbourg castle, there lived a quarrelsome lord of dubious morality. On his return trip from a military campaign with his comrades-in-arms, he spied a lovely young woman in aContinue reading ““The Nymph of Wangenbourg Castle””