Fantasy / Adventure

Above Michel’s desk sat a large map of Brazil, which he used to write his fantasy novels. In it, Michel turns Brazil and the splendor of its landscapes into a veritable fantasy world blending dream and reality.

Le Murmure des dieux and L’envers de l’éperon take place in two Brazilian states that he knows particularly well, having lived and traveled there: the state of AMAZONAS for Le murmure des dieux and the state of MINAS-GERAIS for L’envers de l’éperon. As for La Montagne Morte de la Vie (The Other side of the Mountain) and Ils ont déchiré son image, the stories take place in a purely fantastical environment. The heat of the Sertao and the omnipresence of the Amazonian green world are never far away.

Among the various themes addressed in his fantasy novels, the green and animal world is central and common. Michel’s green world is sometimes protective of man (La forêt complice), or benevolent only on condition that it itself is respected (Le murmure des dieux). But it can also, quite simply, rebel against all forms of human civilization (La Montagne Morte de la Vie).

Nature can be both terrifying and sublime. Terrifying in its unpredictability, since the reader cannot determine in advance how it will behave towards the novel’s characters. Sublime, through the author’s poetic descriptions and the omnipresence of ancestral Indian beliefs.

Michel denounces all the evil done to Indian civilizations, as well as the over-exploitation of the Amazon rainforest (Le murmure des dieux), man’s tyranny going so far as to overtake the devil himself (Ils ont déchiré son image), the true meaning of life in the face of pecuniary priorities (La forêt complice), keeping one’s word in the face of the test of brotherly love (L’envers de l’éperon), or the survival of the human soul in the face of an angry nature that wishes to have total control over man (La Montagne Morte de la Vie).

The Other Side of The Mountain or the quest for life in the face of chaos

I had just turned eighteen when, after an evening of drinking, I was persuaded by a friend to sign on board a galleon for one year.

And so begins the adventure of a young ship’s boy, struggling to find his place among the crew. After battling various storms, the ship ends up stagnating for days on end for lack of wind. The crew is starving, and everyone is fighting for their lives. It’s against this backdrop that the galleon is sucked into another world, leaving Toine and the young ship’s boy stranded on an island that paradoxically breathes as much life as death. The trees prostrate themselves before an immense, blood-curdling mountain, where death and desolation are omnipresent, and mineral and vegetable nature seem to be totally hostile to all forms of human and animal civilization.

What does this bloody mountain hide? Can they survive?

To be found in the American and Spanish antologies

Le Murmure des Dieux or the sacrifice of the god tree

The giant tree shuddered under the blows of the axe. The dark-skinned men, glistening with sweat, looked like moving miniatures next to the vegetable hulk. The steel had gouged a wound around the trunk like a mouth ready to bite, and from this mouth the generous sap flowed like saliva. But the rooted monster refused to die. Until the moment his generous heart was finally reached. It swayed slowly, bent its beautiful green hair back and forth, then, with a sinister creak like a death rattle, lay on the ground awaiting the dry death.

The great forest went into mourning. The most fantastic noises were heard: the God-Tree had been killed.

Eudes, a young French engineer, is employed in MANAUS by a crooked director of a precious wood company. This man offers him an expedition lasting several months, which he is finally forced to accept. Francisco, in search of archaeological treasure in the heart of the green world, asks Eudes to accompany him. This is how Michel transports us to the very heart of the Amazon rainforest, its nature and, above all, its magic, omnipresent in the beliefs of the XAVANTES tribes.

Le murmure des dieux is a veritable ode to the Amazon, a text of pure beauty that fully embraces all forms of magic in our real world.

L’envers de l’Eperon or knightly honor put to the test

Nicontina had been watching the two ants for a long time. Their tiny footprints had marked out in the golden sand the circle of death where they clashed, antennae against antennae. Nicontina stared at them with his single eye. He was waiting for the fatal outcome. Finally, the claws intertwined cruelly and the two fighters slid aside.

“Killing, dying! that’s life!” Nicontina mused as she raised her spur-trimmed boot to end the duel. The ants’ murderous relentlessness echoed the violence of the world he had always known.

Nicontina is commissioned by a wealthy landowner to execute his own brother Joaquim. Unaware of his victim’s identity at the outset, he is faced with a more than delicate situation. With his two characters, Michel takes us on a frantic chase through the heart of the Brazilian state of MINAS-GERAIS, a region historically linked to the gold rushes of the 17th to 19th centuries, but also where he spent all his adolescence. The characters evolve in a universe blending fantasy and reality, until they find themselves in an abandoned town in the heart of which Michel’s green world has completely reclaimed its rights.

The question is whether Nicontina will limit herself to keeping her word, to the detriment of her values and honor.

Ils ont déchiré son Image (Literary short story)

A strange traveler stops in a small town ruled by a Marquis ready to do anything to satisfy his desires. The inhabitants are under his orders. It seems that they are completely oblivious to the atrocities being committed. Morality is non-existent. The inhabitants no longer think for themselves; the Marquis’ word and orders are golden.

The strange traveler, taking on the appearance of the devil, seems overwhelmed by events, human cruelty going beyond even what he represents.

La forêt complice (Literary short story)

All night long, Pedro had been watching the big white house. The heat was humid and heavy. A thick fog was rising from the ground. The rising ground would soon dissipate it, but for now, only the trunks of the old mango trees would emerge from the sea of mist. The house was still silent. Pedro knew, however, that it was only a matter of time before this calm was replaced by the noisy bustle of preparations for senhorita Isina’s engagement.

Pedro attends the engagement of his childhood sweetheart to Joaquim, son of a wealthy rubber plantation owner. Isina is forced to become engaged to this man for purely financial reasons. But this is without counting on the soul of the forest…