Guerrilla fantasies by Guillaume Lebrun or Joan of Arc’s factory

In a hilarious, breathtaking and psychedelic novel, Guillaume Lebrun brilliantly takes on one of the most important pages in French history and rehabilitates the unloved figure of Yolande d’Aragon, a subtle strategist and lady of power.

“It is Yolande of Aragon who decrees that Joan of Arc must receive an army,” specifies Guillaume Lebrun when asked to reinstate the character. And Yolande d’Aragon is one of the two narrators of “Fantaisies Guerillas”, a novel with surprising and worked language, somewhere between the medieval Fabliau and the banter of Frédéric Dard. A more than successful exercise for the first novel by the southern French insect breeder.

Nutjobés and Englishois

Let’s start with the scenery first: Kingdom of France, 15th century. Nothing goes well: the King of England (Englishois) forces his presence in the north of the territory, taking advantage of a fratricidal and endless war between Burgundians and Armagnacs. Yolande d’Aragon, married to Louis II of Anjou (known as Loulou), cousin of Charles VI. (known as Le Fol), mother-in-law of the future Charles VII, son of Queen Isabeau of Bavaria (known as Haute Fourbesse). de l’Escarte – thigh), can no longer stand the protracted situation and acts.

After having a vision worthy of HP Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu,” in great secrecy and with the help of a few followers, she built up the breeding of fifteen carefully selected little “Jehannes”. One of them will catch your eye very quickly.

Historically, Joan of Arc is not the first to appear before the Dauphin. There were a good twenty, some of whom were called Jeanne. It was necessary to confirm before an assembly that she was indeed the messenger of God, and it is thanks to Yolande of Aragon that the Joan of Arc known to us was chosen. In addition, Yolande also protects the future Charles VII by keeping him out of court. Despite this, she is hated by chroniclers for having the audacity to be charismatic, intelligent, and beautiful.

Guillaume Lebrun

Maid vs. force of nature

The other narrator of “Fantaisies Guerillas” is the twelfth by Jehanne de Yolande. Far from being an image that would satisfy the adherents of the French national narrative, this “Grouillotte-là” is bold, imposing, dark and ugly. A “wart on peach skin” that nevertheless has a Herculean strength, coupled with a certain appetite for women and especially for human flesh. “It is the Joan of Arc that I had in my head since childhood”, specifies Guillaume Lebrun, “a powerful warrior, a strong woman, also physically. Not a frail and mystical young girl, sometimes ridiculous.”

Together, Yolande and Jehanne will face an enemy much greater than the English in an adventure that touches on the Marvel epic and joins the spirits of powerful women whom history has rendered invisible.

Artemis, Ching Shih and Celine

Because “Fantasy Guerillas” is a feminist novel that also tells the fight against the systematic reduction of big women’s names: the mathematician Hypatie from Alexandria, the poets Christine de Pizan and Marie de France are present across the pages, but not only. The Chinese pirate Ching Shih, the samurai Hangaku Gozen, the commander Timoclée or Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh, warrior queen of Dahomey, also support Guillaume Lebrun in a rehabilitation process, which can be read in a “small treatise on powerful women”. in the appendix of the novel.

Finally, note the barely concealed presence of works modeled after the great troubadour Marie-Claudette de Charlemagne, behind whom is Céline Dion (real name Céline Marie Claudette Dion, born Charlemagne). “Ever since I was little, I’ve had a boundless passion for Celine Dion. I even let my insects listen to it; they have no choice.”

Ellen Ichters/mh

Guillaume Lebrun, “Guerller fantasies”, ed. Citizens

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