The latest addition to my website is Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz‘s Derborence (When the Mountain Fell). This novel is based on an actual historical event. In 1714 a large part of the Diabelerets mountain in Switzerland sheered off and fell on the village of Derborence. Twenty people and numerous animals were killed. There was a further fall thirty years later. This fictitious story is about Antoine Point. With his colleague Séraphin, he had gone up the mountain to the fine pasture lands to look after their animals. They stayed in a chalet built for that purpose. One night, there was an almighty crash. The villagers thought it was just a storm. However, the next morning a dust cloud covered the area. Eventually they realised what has happened and the dead, including Séraphin and Antoine were mourned. Ramuz gives an excellent description of both the landscape and the reaction of the local villagers. Two months later a man crawls out of a hole and descends to the village. It is, by all appearances, Antoine but he is pale and seems smaller. Many of the villagers think he is a ghost, particularly when he is eager to return to the mountain. Even his wife has her doubts. This is another excellent story by Ramuz, about the power of the mountains and the fear they inspire in those who live on or near them.
- Post author:tmn
- Post published:15 July 2015
- Post category:Switzerland / The Modern Novel website
- Post comments:5 Comments