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Imagine a writer of genius like Nabokov in Pale Fire who creates as his unreliable narrator another genius, a man who in addition to his narcissism and a host of disagreeable opinions is also stark, staring madAh, but then to move beyond Nabokov imagine that this madman s creator is also a madman, and you will have imagined a work akin to Villiers de L Isle Adam s The Vampire Soul De L Isle Adam came by his madness the old fashioned way he inherited it His father threw away the family for Imagine a writer of genius like Nabokov in Pale Fire who creates as his unreliable narrator another genius, a man who in addition to his narcissism and a host of disagreeable opinions is also stark, staring madAh, but then to move beyond Nabokov imagine that this madman s creator is also a madman, and you will have imagined a work akin to Villiers de L Isle Adam s The Vampire Soul De L Isle Adam came by his madness the old fashioned way he inherited it His father threw away the family fortune buying up old aristocratic estates, defacing their grounds with unsightly holes, and selling them at a loss His objective to find the fabled lost treasure of the Knights of Malta His son our writer was extraordinarily eccentric, if not precisely mad, haunting cafes at all hours to avoid his poor shabby room, feverishly scribbling his articles and stories on any piece of paper that came to hand, convinced that one day these fragments would bring him enormous fame He wrote pounds of dreck, but also enough dark, concentrated, memorable tales to earn himself the title of the French Edgar Allan Poe You may find many of them in Cruel Tales, a collection well worth your time The Vampire Soul is dark and memorable, but it could not be called concentrated At its heart is a frightening story of possession by a dead soul seeking revenge, but it is embroidered, postponed and frustrated by a host of philosophical reflections by the three main characters, the fanciest, most frustrating roadblock to a clear narrative being the narrator himself, Dr Tribulat Bonhomet The conservative Catholic de L Isle Adam created Bonhomet to embody everything he loathed atheism, godless science, a disdain for the symbolic, a love for absurdly literal solutions but he unbalances his tale so unrelentingly that he forces the reader to question the mental balance of the author himself.I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the first thirty pages, seeing in Bonhomet an amusing and worthy ancestor to Nabokov s Kinbote But then philosophical reflection piled upon philosophical reflection, ironies became buried beneath heaps of obsessions and quirkiness, and I became convinced I was reading someone a few french fries short of a happy meal, someonethan a few ravens short of a Poe The short novel that gives this volume its name is followed by ten vignettes and stories that carry on the adventures or at least the spirit of Dr Tribulet Bonhomet I did not find them particularly memorable, except for the The Swan Killer, which has at its heart a wild, violent host of images I find it impossible to get out of my mind Read it if you get the chance, and it will give your a taste at the extraordinary effects that at his best the eccentric French Poe was capable of 1 2 |DOWNLOAD E-PUB ♦ The Vampire Soul and Other Sardonic Tales ♺ There are other beings who know the roads of life and are curious about the paths of death So says the eccentric Doctor Tribulat Bonhomet of the Eventualists Society, adding if we were able to see Nature as it truly is, it is probable that we would shiver in horror, And shiver he does when he meets the Vampiric Soul of one of the savage OTTYSOR Jean Marie Mathias Philippe Auguste, Comte de Villiers de l Isle Adam , pioneer of the Symbolist Movement, is known for his proto science fiction works Axeland L Eve FutureHe also chronicled the colorful adventures of Doctor Bonhomet collected in The Vampire Soul Poet Paul Verlaine called Villiers works a genial melange of irony, metaphysics and terror and translator Brian Stableford dubs it a bizarre literary landmark Stableford has published than fifty novels and two hundred short stories The Vampire Soul, written inthirty years before Bram Stoker s Dracula is one of the many classic vampire stories available from Black Coat Press This book is the first English language edition, and includes an authoritative introduction and historical notes