One evening in the carnivalesque world of eighteenth-century Naples a foolhardy young Spaniard, don Alvaro de Maravillas, plays the daredevil - literally - and summons the Evil One himself. Never one to miss his appointments, the Demon appears, assuming various guises before setting into the form of a charming young servant boy who turns out to be a girl. Resorting to the most human of wiles to try to win the young nobleman's affections, the Devil, as the lovely Biondetta, then lulls don Alvaro into thinking that her needs are the same as those of any other tearful young woman, and proceeds to take him for the ride of his life through Venice and back to his home in Spain.
This new, annotated edition, the first modern English translation of Jacques Cazotte's The Devil in Love (1772), marks the long-awaited appearance of one of the earliest masterpieces of modern fantastic prose. A moral fable of delightful grace and narrative skill, Cazotte's 1772 novel will prove, on a par with Lewis's The Monk, a seminal work for the supernaturalist tradition and an important precursor of the French Romantics and Symbolists. Yet The Devil in Love reaches beyond, as its sophisticated play of gender shifts transforms a chronicle of fatal attraction into an ironic commentary on social and psychological mores.
Gerard de Nerval's 1845 text, Jacques Cazotte: His Life, Trial, Prophecies, and Revelations, is presented as an afterword to this edition. Nerval, himself one of the most extraordinary figures in French literature, lends an intriguing appreciation of Cazotte, part biography, part literary study, and part hermetic treatise.
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Amid the florescence of Enlightenment reasoning in 18th-century Europe raged an insatiable curiosity in the occult sciences. In this fantastic tale, a sprightly new translation of Cazotte's 1772 classic Le diable amoureux , a young Spanish nobleman makes an impetuous boast to his drinking buddies that he will "tweak great Satan's ears." The spirits are conjured, and though uninitiated in the supernatural, Alvaro boldly commands the devil--who then appears in the form of an enchanting page, Biondetto, first male, then female. Alvaro is delighted, then horrified to discover that the page is in love with him and pledges to serve him for life. With finely drawn details Cazotte imbues Biondetta with dazzling human qualities: Alvaro is smitten and his fate sealed. Also included are a biography of Cazotte by the critic Gerard de Nerval, which serves as a primary bibliography of the entire genre, and Cazotte's "Revelations," which some believe prophesied the French Revolution (in which Cazotte himself was guillotined). Recommended for accomplished collections.
- Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Marsilio Pub, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0941419789