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The Devil in Love (Dedalus European Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Jacques Cazotte , Judith Landry
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Alvaro summons up the devil and gets more than he bargains for. World ex USA, Can

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 372 KB
  • Print Length: 109 pages
  • Publisher: Dedalus; 2nd edition edition (22 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WV3ERM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #680,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious. 20 May 2007
There is only one word to describe this novella: delicious. Landry's translation is spot-on, and retains much of the sparkle and humor of the original French. It's a beautiful little story, drawing on traditions of the Cabbala, the elemental spirits, and a lot of well-known medieval myths, and is utterly chilling even for modern audiences. No wonder Cazotte is considered by some as the father of the French fantastic.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece 7 Oct. 2007
By gabrial
Yes this s one of the finest 18th cent novellas (the other reviewer likes the trans. so I'm hoping it's good. Read the gorgeous French). Far better than Prevost (Manon L) or Voltaire (the meaning is ambiguous - should we invest in our illusions or not?) and pulls the rug from under Rousseau before he got going. The Devil is a camel (funny, but ugh!) and the prettiest girl in town (oops!). Neat and sharp. (Duclos and Denon are the other masters of this kind of thing)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil in Love 10 April 2014
By Steven Davis - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The narrator of this tale of demonic seduction is a twenty-five-year-old Spanish soldier named Alvaro Maravillas who is a captain in the king's guard in Naples. He admits that his chief occupations, when he can afford them, are gambling and womanizing. One evening after he and his fellow officers had been sitting and drinking, an old Dutch soldier confides in Alvaro that he is a practitioner of the occult arts and has been able to summon an infernal spirit to be his personal servant. Of course Alvaro wants to try it himself.

In the ruins of an ancient temple, standing inside an inscribed pentagram, Alvaro repeats the incantation he has been taught to summon Beelzebub. A horrible and threatening visage appears, but Alvaro stands his ground and commands the demon to submit to him and prepare a feast for his companions, complete with a servant in livery. All is done as Alvaro has ordered, but the servant, a youth of striking beauty, looks at Alvaro in the most unsettling way. After the dinner the servant refuses to be dismissed or even leave Alvaro's side, and insists on becoming his page.

It isn't long before Alvaro confirms his suspicions that his page is actually a woman. He calls her Biondetta. She claims to by a sylph, an air-spirit, who fell in love with Alvaro and seized the opportunity to take human form to become his lover. She sets out patiently to seduce Alvaro who is naturally wary of such a being. Is she really a spirit become mortal as she claims to be? Or is she Beelzebub himself in disguise? Can Alvaro trust anything his senses tell him, or is everything he sees and feels just a grand illusion?

Cazotte's writing is remarkably fluid and concise for its time, more reminiscent of Poe than other 18th century authors. His handling of the apparent gender shifting of Biondetta--"she" in one guise, "he" in another--is subtle and eerie, as are the growing erotic tension and the uncertainty over Biondetta's true nature. The weakest part of the story, however, is its ending, which is abrupt and unsatisfying. According to Brian Stableford's introduction, Cazotte has originally planned (and perhaps wrote) a work twice as long, and the ending was rewritten because early readers rejected the author's first version. The Devil in Love is a captivating story that, with a better ending, would have become a classic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little known gem 9 Sept. 2014
By Juan Malo - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you love Geothe's Faust you will enjoy this short intriguing read of possession and bargaining of one's soul with Evil for Earthly gains. The author leaves some doubt in the reader's mind as to what is actually happening at times but one has a good idea of what finally happened. Gender transformations play a significant role. A great book and a must read for anyone interested in literature. Buy the edition with a commentary.
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