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Demons of the Night : Tales of the Fantastic, Madness and the Supernatural from Nineteenth-century France - Joan C. Kessler

Demons of the Night

Tales of the Fantastic, Madness and the Supernatural from Nineteenth-century France

By: Joan C. Kessler (Editor)

Paperback Published: 1st January 1995
ISBN: 9780226432083
Number Of Pages: 368

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Demons of the Night is a trove of haunting fiction—a gathering, for the first time in English, of the best nineteenth-century French fantastic tales. Featuring such authors as Balzac, Mérimée, Dumas, Verne, and Maupassant, this book offers readers familiar with the works of Edgar Allan Poe and E. T. A. Hoffman some of the most memorable stories in the genre. With its aura of the uncanny and the supernatural, the fantastic tale is a vehicle for exploring forbidden themes and the dark, irrational side of the human psyche.

The anthology opens with "Smarra, or the Demons of the Night," Nodier's 1821 tale of nightmare, vampirism, and compulsion, acclaimed as the first work in French literature to explore in depth the realm of dream and the unconscious. Other stories include Balzac's "The Red Inn," in which a crime is committed by one person in thought and another in deed, and Mérimée's superbly crafted mystery, "The Venus of Ille," which dramatizes the demonic power of a vengeful goddess of love emerging out of the pagan past. Gautier's protagonist in "The Dead in Love" develops an obsessive passion for a woman who has returned from beyond the grave, while the narrator of Maupassant's "The Horla" imagines himself a victim of psychic vampirism.

Joan Kessler has prepared new translations of nine of the thirteen tales in the volume, including Gérard de Nerval's odyssey of madness, "Aurélia," as well as two tales that have never before appeared in English. Kessler's introduction sets the background of these tales—the impact of the French Revolution and the Terror, the Romantics' fascination with the subconscious, and the influence of contemporary psychological and spiritual currents. Her essay illuminates how each of the authors in this collection used the fantastic to articulate his own haunting obsessions as well as his broader vision of human experience.

Charles Nodier Smarra, or
The Demons of the Night
The Red Inn Prosper Merimee
The Venus of Ille Theophile Gautier
The Dead in Love
The Slap of Charlotte Corday Gerard de Nerval Aurelia, or
Dream and Life
The Sign
The Horla Who Knows?
The Veiled Man
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226432083
ISBN-10: 0226432084
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st January 1995
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 13.97  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.57
Edition Number: 2

Earn 121 Qantas Points
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