The Mystery of the Tiger
THE MYSTERY OF THE TIGER
by Maurice Magre
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Tanya Hall
We were alone, the tiger and I. It seemed to me that its green phosphorescent eye was a lamp that illuminated not only the clearing, but also the infinite depths of my soul.
Maurice Magre (1877-1941) was one of the most far-ranging and extravagant French writers of fantastic fiction in the first half of the 20th century, and perhaps the finest of them, because of the fertility and versatility of his imagination and the manner and purpose for which he deployed it.
This volume, the fourth of a series of twelve dedicated to Magre’s works, offers the novella The Story of Confucius and the novel The Mystery of the Tiger (both 1927).
The former is a clever exercise in deadly serious comedy, which details the rise and fall of the famous Chinese philosopher. In the latter, an obsessed zoo-keeper and animal tamer goes into the Indonesian jungle to experience a mystic transformation that highlights the relationship between humans and animals, and between humans and their own animality.
The Mystery of the Tiger offers one of the most obvious examples of Magre’s stubborn defiance of convention. As its protagonist gradually slides from unrepentant unpleasantness into a kind of remorseful divine madness, it shows itself for the truly remarkable work it is.
Le Roman de Confucius [The Story of Confucius, 1927]
Le Mystère du tigre [The Mystery of the Tiger, 1927]
Introduction, Afterword and Notes by Brian Stableford.