Read The Seventh Horse And Other Tales by Leonora Carrington Online


This collection of Carrington's fiction, the most comprehensive so far, includes a novella and 18 short stories written between the late 1930s and the early '70s in French, Spanish and English. All these tales take place in fantastic, eerie landscapes and are narrated in surreal, stylized voices. Carrington (House of Fear, etc.) creates not characters and situations, but aThis collection of Carrington's fiction, the most comprehensive so far, includes a novella and 18 short stories written between the late 1930s and the early '70s in French, Spanish and English. All these tales take place in fantastic, eerie landscapes and are narrated in surreal, stylized voices. Carrington (House of Fear, etc.) creates not characters and situations, but abstract concepts, which often result in stories that lack warmth and the power to engage. The effect is intellectually impressive but emotionally unsatisfying. In the pieces that do come to life, though, the abstract merges with reality in a chillingly mesmerizing blend. In "White Rabbits," after a first visit to her mysterious, leprous neighbors in New York, the narrator concludes her frightful tale: "I stumbled and ran, choking with horror; some unholy curiosity made me look over my shoulder... and I saw her waving... and as she waved... her fingers fell off and dropped to the ground like shooting stars." The novella "The Stone Door" is the highlight of the volume. The magically unfolding fable tells of Zacharias, a 20th century Hungarian Jew who is destined to voyage beyond the boundaries of time to the shores of ancient Mesopotamia, and open the great stone door of the mountain Kescke to release his true love. This modern fairy tale burns with the passion and purpose that is often missing in the shorter, intellectualized works. Illustrated....

Title : The Seventh Horse And Other Tales
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780525483847
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Seventh Horse And Other Tales Reviews

  • Nate D
    2019-04-26 01:42

    Leonora Carrington, expelled from convent school and defying parental wishes in order to study painting, eloped from England with Max Ernst in 1937, at age 19, soon joining her excellent visual work with an outpouring of writing in both French and English, some of the very best that first-wave interwar surrealism had to offer. Along with House of Fear, this collects the majority of Carrington's short fiction from that period, from New York during the war for surrealist journal VVV and others, and for several decades of life in Mexico City afterwards. It's fairly out of print, but cheap used copies do pop up every now and then, like this one.(Carrington with Ernst (to the left of her, here) and other surrealists)Among her many merits, Carrington had a real knack, compared to the "automatic writing" employed by many of her contemporaries as a means of excavating the subconscious, for investing her dream-fables with a decidedly non-automatic cohesion. These read like myths or fairy tales, but often totally anarchic or anti-social, and occasionally becoming a sort of horror story. And often with a satiric bent, and usually in rapid, highly-entertaining telling. All of which I'm wild about, of course.Since there's not a lot of information around, here's what is actually included in this volume (stars indicate the best):*As They Road Along the Edge (1937-1940) :: Longer (for Carrington) tale of a wheel-riding wild girl in the mountains who falls in love with a wild boar and gets into a confrontation with the local clergy.True, the people up there were plants, animals, birds; otherwise things wouldn't have been the same.The cats caterwauled and stuck their claws into one another's necks, then threw themselves in a mass upon Igname and Virginia, who disappeared under a mountain of cats. Where they made love.The Skeleton's Holiday (1938 or 39) :: Part of a collaborative story with various luminaries of the time like Ernst, Arp, Duchamp, called "The Man Who Lost His Skeleton". Carrington's segment recounts the skeleton's exultant exploits after losing his man. Probably due to proximity to the others, this is the most random-sounding, and the least Carrington-esque of the lot.*Pigeon, Fly (1937-1940) :: a deliciously eerie fable freed, like most of Carrington, of any obvious moral import.And here is another thing: the objects around me are becoming terribly clear and vivid, much more alive than I am. You know, Eleanor, I'm afraid. . . . Listen, the chairs in this room are very old, and so is all the rest of the furniture. Last week, I saw a little green bud on one of the chairs, the kind of bud that appears on trees in the spring. And now . . . how horrible . . . it has become a leaf . . . Eleanor!The Three Hunters (1937-1940)Monsieur Cyril de Guindre (1937-1940)*The Sisters (1939)Perhaps my favorite: Another creepy gothic fairy tale of vivid narrative force and inconclusive lesson. A young women prepares a somewhat ghastly feast for a visiting ex-king, while locked in the attic, her secret sister dreams of moonlight and red. The suggested confrontation never comes; instead they converge in a kind of alternative versions of hedonism. Here is where I'm talking about Carrington's excellently ambiguous moral compass, especially.Enchanted with his deep reflections, the king rubbed his hands and did a few dance steps. Drusille looked at the trees and thought the fruit looked like little corpses. She looked at the sky and saw drowned bodies in the clouds.Engadine came out of the kitchen. She was carrying a suckling pig stuffed with nightingales. She stopped with a cry. In front of her an exultant white apparition blocked the way.His beard was full of sauces, fish heads, crushed fruit.Cast Down By Sadness (1937-1939) ::Cast down by sadness, I walked far into the mountains where the cypresses grew so pointed that one would have taken them for arms, where the brambles had thorns as big as claws. I came to a garden overrun by climbing plants and weeds with strange blooms.*White Rabbits (1941) :: The first of the New York stories, a macabre tale of the neighbors glimpsed across the street. A real place Carrington stayed, perhaps?He seemed to be unconscious of our presence or of that of a large white buck rabbit which sat and masticated on a chunk of meat on his knee.Waiting (1941)The Seventh Horse (1941) :: Another distinctively Carrington-esque wild-girl, this one caught in the garden by her hair, and a husband who wants only to run with the horses...*The Stone Door (1940s, pub.1976) :: Surrealist occultists write the best fairy tales. Besides The Hearing Trumpet, this is Carrington's only novel that I know of (hopefully another exists somewhere amongst her papers!). Here, she re-edited it from her original into a 70-page novella. It's captivating, and quite different in tone and style from her other work, opening with a series of journal entries from a girl in Mexico (Carrington herself?), retreating from ennui and isolation into a series of dreams that take her across the Land of the Dead and leave her stranded, trapped, at a closed stone door in the mountains. On the other side of which lies interwar Hungary, where a young Jewish boy begins to hear her cries. With a powerful balance of convincing details of a known world being invaded by unreality and pagan rites. I really really must find a copy of the full-length version of this, as soon as possible.Standing on a hill and looking back along the road I saw the city of tombs still visible in the distance. Before me, the road continued like a dusty ribbon whose borders were marked by heaps of broken sculpture and miscellaneous rubbish such as partially unwrapped mummies in different stages of mutilation, painted tablets in every known and unknown language, books and parchments dried into convulsive gestures, old shoes, sandals, and boots, and any number of pots and casks, urns and dishes in whole or small pieces.I then understood that the word to address such a primitive and embryonic body would have to come from a language buried at the back of time.For centuries, they dressed up Love for easy digestion as a fat little boy with wings, pale blue bows, and anemic-looking flowers. behind this bland decoration Love snarled its rictus through the ages. With shrieks of adoration, it flung itself on human breats, "to crush you, to suck your life away. I cannot drag my own weight over the crust of the earth, so you must carry me on your back so that in time you will be crippled with my weight." These words are in every heart in the mating season.Kneeling before the ram, he caught its spiral horn in his right hand, twisting back its head and exposing the beating pulses of his neck. He cut its throat with the triangular stone. The girl caught the blood in her cupped hands, saying: "Drink the scarlet milk of Paradise, Little Brother, for it is ours. [...] The Old Gods are our food, The New Gods will be revealed to us in time and out of time. The Old Gods are dead; Earth, the Goat will renew the lifeblood of the Myth and will violate the Garden of Paradise."Originally I was going to go on cataloguing the contents of this book, right through the Mexican post-war, post-Stone Door years. Except I don't really have time at the moment, so let's leave it there for now. Highlight of the later stories, for me, was "Et in bellicus lunarum medicalis", on the fate of a set of surgery-performing Russian rats who, oddly, no one wanted to employ. And weird future-vision "How to Start a Pharmecuticals Business".

  • Eddie Watkins
    2019-05-08 00:45

    Leonora Carrington is not a surrealist, she is Leonora Carrington. She is also a creative alembic with the capacity to transform everything she touches - every plant animal mineral, every personal emotional upheaval, every beef with authorities (authorities of every kind) – into an infectious concoction of the purely imaginative. Her work is fantastical (in the true, the best, sense), and being fantastical in the true, the best, sense means it presents an alternative-seeming world while staying rooted in the actual life of the senses and in the storms and tides of emotion of a deeply engaged human life. There are recurring images of beings (animals, humans, plants, and minerals are equals in her world, and so all are equally “beings”) with roots that either reach deeply into things and are thus invisible, or are visible and thus unattached to that being’s surroundings, indicating a psychic malady. These roots are the living matrix of her stories, the fibers that carry her living and life-giving creativity.And these stories are fantastic (in the degraded sense), meaning they are great! Through her writing (and her painting, for which she is better known) she gives the impression of a person who is completely free, whose inner world is not only totally uncorrupted by noxious social influences and programming, but is such a powerful force that it supplants her external world also; as if her eyeballs are permanently stained (as in stained glass) by the welling up of images from within, so that to look out onto the external world is to see it permanently altered by her internal world. This internal world of hers is well-stocked with occult/alchemical lore, and her inner being is clearly a veteran nomad in Dreamland, and knowledge gathered from books and astral travels permeate and inform her work. So in addition to there being an almost automatic, or unconscious, creative informant behind her work due to the essential character of her inner nature, there is also that intentional informant that is her conscious and scholarly side.What’s also fantastic about this collection is the sheer variety of tone and approach, even as each is unmistakably Carringtonian. She effortlessly glides from satirical humor (with a healthy helping of flammable bile) to the child-like, from serious adult quest narrative to comic fairytale; and each is only as long as it has to be, some like sketches (or small canvases) and another like a condensed epic.The condensed epic in question being The Stone Door, which is by far the most ambitious work here (and the version contained is a shortened version of her novel by the same name). The Stone Door has little of her characteristic humor (usually satirical), and instead focuses on some serious alchemical issues – personal transformation alchemy and possible triumph over death – and is presented as interlocking quest narratives. It begins as a series of journal entries, and maintains a touch of the clipped and somewhat cryptic qualities characteristic of personal journals even as the narrative blossoms out into a full-blown story encompassing the “real” lives of the characters and their dream and astral/imaginal lives. Maintaining this “personal journal” quality throughout lends an air of urgency and authenticity to the story, and this urgency and authenticity translates into the potential for the story itself to “work on” (as in The Great Work, i.e. alchemy) the interior life of the reader.This is writing that can reach its serious alchemical roots into the reader even as it supremely entertains, and if the reader is receptive and allows these roots to take hold, this is literature that can free one’s own imagination and enlarge one's inner life – you can feel it as you’re reading, as it thrills your imaginal nerves and stains your eyeballs.

    2019-05-04 01:38

    The more I find out about Leonora Carrington, the more I love her. From the very 1st story, "As They Rode Along the Edge", she sets the tone for her being an extremely strong-willed visionary (for a recited version of this story w/ illustrations by Justin Duerr & Mandy Katz go to: ). She's described on the back cover as "A precocious child, expelled from convent school" & her anti-Christian enthusiasm & full-blown paganism is completely heartfelt & all-encompassing. Cf the anti-clericalism of surrealist Benjamin Peret w/ the wonderfully articulate & humorous character of this writing. These stories were written between 1937 & the 1970s & they cover alotof territory. I'm particularly fond of "The Stone Door" - the version here being a shortened version of something that's apparently published elsewhere as a bk all its own. In this one, Carrington starts off w/ what at least seems to be a personal diary of discontent that gradually mutates entirely into an heroic & epic quest. I often complain that I find much surrealist writing of little interest but w/ Carrington the writing is as great as her phenomenal painting.

  • Ione
    2019-05-18 21:28

    This collection of some of Leonora's strangest short stories are much like her paintings--surreal, haunting, logic-defying, and irreverent. Many of the stories are peppered with alchemical symbols, much like her art, and leave you wondering about what's beneath the surface of it all. One of the best pieces in the book is the novella "The Stone Door," about a Hungarian Jew from the 20th century who wonders through his life in this century aimlessly, but finds passion across time in Mesopotomia where he must find his true love on the other side of the stone door in the mountain Kescke. However, trying to sum up any of the pieces in a straightforward sentence is an oversimplification of Leonora's wonderfully swirling, dreamlike prose. Her literary works are hard to track down, but if you can, definitely give her a try.

  • Daniel
    2019-05-02 20:19

    Carrington at her best. When I first enjoyed her paintings I was really thrilled to find out that she also wrote many short stories and a couple of novellas, I expected that someone with her imagination would be able to craft some really great works. I was not disappointed. Her stories feel like dreams, and while it is true that most of them lack an actual ending or sense of conclusion I think that this only adds to their power: it feels all the more like waking up from a very strange and lucid dream. I can't recommend her enough for anyone who's ready to let go of reason for a while and take a deep dive into this brilliant woman's beautiful imagination.

  • Helen
    2019-05-09 00:29

    When someone asks which writers are in my pantheon, easily Leonora Carrington will be up there right next to Angela Carter and Jorge Luis Borges.

  • lisa_emily
    2019-05-15 20:33

    I love this book! It's a collection of very short stories from one of Surrealism's most imaginative painters. The stories evoke humor and magic.

  • Tania Labastida Mendoza
    2019-04-28 19:26

    Excelentes cuentos <3 <3 <3

  • Teresa O.
    2019-05-23 22:21

    Leonora's art is amazing: passionate, wild and magical.Her tales are like tales for grown-ups and her heroines, often depicted as half-beasts, are fascinating, unconventional and refreshing.

  • Sean
    2019-05-09 02:27

    On the outskirts of our sad savage town, I was overcome by a feeling of profound melancholy, though I fought it off by stuffing a large amount of jasmine essence up my nose.Remember that trousers are the first rung down the ladder of degeneration.This is a love letter to a nightmare.These few statements are ones pulled in a random attempt to sum up this wondrous collection of surrealist painter and writer Leonora Carrington's short fiction. The pieces range from the folkloric and fairy tale-esque to completely bizarre, off-the-wall absurdism. They are often dark, but with a light touch, if that makes sense. The centerpiece is a shortened version of Carrington's novel The Stone Door. This labyrinthine tale describes two epic journeys through time and place, the first of which occurs in a "dream, memory, or vision." A basic premise guiding the story is that someone becomes trapped on the wrong side of the stone door, which separates the land of the Dead from the land of the Living. Someone else tries to save the first someone. There's some back story on each of the someones. I can't do it justice so I'm sticking with vagueness.The other tales all entertain in one way or another. In "The Happy Corpse Story" someone goes to Telephone Hell because he died of a heart attack during a telephone conversation. In Telephone Hell everyone has a phone "constantly glued to their lips or ears" for, in this person's unfortunate case, nine hundred and ninety-nine billion aeons before finally getting rid of it. [One wonders what Leonora would think of today's widespread and voluntary enactment of her version of Hell]. Also in this story, Carrington takes aim at corporate culture, describing a character as "an executive at a firm," meaning that "he actually executed persons with showers of legal documents proving that they owed him quantities of money which they did not have." But her scathing mockery does not stop there...'Firm' actually means the manufacture of useless objects which people are foolish enough to buy. The firmer the firm the more senseless talk is needed to prevent anyone noticing the unsafe structure of the business. Sometimes these Firms actually sell nothing at all for a lot of money, like 'Life Insurance,' a pretense that it is a soothing and useful event to have a violent and painful death.Another of my favorite stories in which Carrington's satire shines is "How to Start a Pharmaceuticals Business," in which an innocent picnic of the narrator and her two noble guests, Lord Popocatepetl and the Viscount Federal District, strangely results in the narrator's receipt of a Joseph Stalin mannikin, whose moustache hairs turn out to possess properties useful in the treatment of "whooping cough, syphilis, grippe, childbearing and other convulsions." The story is set in the Mexico of some sort of utopian world in which society has opted to voluntarily regress from the modern age. As one example, the Black King of the North, New York the First, issued an edict known as the Law of De-Electrification of the Americas.This collection offers a good introduction to Carrington's fiction, showcasing her many storytelling styles as well as her keen social insight. Highly recommended and pairs well with her collection The House of Fear.

  • N.J. Ramsden
    2019-04-29 21:40

    Carrington produced some wonderfully odd work, and along with Angela Carter, her folktale-like stories are among the best of their kind I've read. The Skeleton's Holiday and The Three Hunters exemplify Carrington's early playfulness very well, and The Stone Door is a magnificently strange mixture of mythologies and surrealism. The problem with this collection, which may or may not be representative, I can't say, is that there're several pieces that lose their way a bit and end up feeling more haphazard and forced. Pieces like My Mother is a Cow, and How to Start a Parmaceuticals Business are certainly moulded from similar oddities to the better works, but lack their imagistic cohesion, their resonance. If anything, the lesser pieces feel frivolous, whereas the better ones speak.Anyway, the good stuff in here is worth more than the measly three stars I'm awarding the book as a whole. Definitely worth reading those.

  • Jukka
    2019-05-15 02:15

    The Seventh Horse - Leonora CarringtonA collection of mysterious and surreal short stories and a novella.I read this together with The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver which made an interesting mix. Surrealist writer Andre Breton is mentioned in Lacuna. Carrington was a surreallist painter in Mexico City in the same time period as Lacuna. She was friends with both Kahlo and Rivera -- unfortunately she made no appearance in Kingsolver's book.There is something arbitrary to these stories, which caused me to consider what other handling could mean in similar genre.

  • Vale Saez
    2019-05-17 20:37

    Maravilloso. Pura imaginación.

  • K.
    2019-05-26 21:45

    Virginia Fur

  • Chloë Yates
    2019-05-20 01:29


  • Jaina Bee
    2019-05-27 03:29

    An intoxicating traipse through the jagged, dripping splendors of this marvelous woman's imagination. A wonderful place to start if you're curious.

  • Leif
    2019-05-15 22:24

    You haven't known living until you've died wide-eyed in one of Carrington's knotted-up and seductively sultry tales. Surrealism sure, but brilliant without a doubt.