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Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)

de Charles Maturin

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1,3732710,018 (3.77)1 / 174
Written by an eccentric Anglican curate in Dublin, Melmoth Wanderer brought the terrors of the Gothic novel to a new pitch of claustrophobic intensity. Its tormented villain, a Faustian transgressor desperately seeking a victim to release him from his fatal bargain with the devil, regarded by Balzac as one of the great outcasts of modern literature. About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 27 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Reasons to read: published 1820 (bingo), 1001 books,
Legacy: This book was written by Charles Robert Maturin, an Irish Protestant clergyman (ordained in the Church of Ireland) and a writer of Gothic plays and novels. This is his best known works. According to the editors of 1001 Books..., this book is a transitional novel in literary history. It is the final example of Gothic traditional with key features; wild, remote, or otherwise exotic.
Style: the book is a succession of strange stories, entrapments, dangerous lure. There is the opening of the book where John Melmoth the student goes to his uncle's home. The following stories include; the Tale of the Spaniard, the Tale of the Indians, The Tale of Guzman's Family, and back to the Tale of the Indians.
Characters: John Melmoth, a student who inherits his uncle's money. He also acquires a manuscript which tells the story of an ancestor also called John Melmoth.
Identity; John Melmoth, the ancestor, gained satanic immortality in exchange for his soul. A Faustian bargain. He is seeking his release from this covenant with the devil by seeking another to take his place. The book explores the nature of temptation and torment.
Contribution: the book/author contributed to Poe, Wilde, Baudelaire and others.
Readability: it is long. Each story is interesting but could have been made shorter. There is a lot of descriptive words and it was not always easy to stay engage. I listened to the audible production, narrated by Gerry O'Brien.
Rating 3.6 ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 22, 2020 |
John Melmoth --mezcla de Mefistófeles, dandy byroniano y vampiro-- prueba con su errática existencia de casi dos siglos que la inmortalidad es tan paradójica como el absurdo de la muerte. Un pacto diabólico lo destina a ella, a cambio de su alma. Pero la eternidad le aburre: elimina el azar, el imprevisible placer del asombro. Así, este tenebroso y atractivo personaje desea la muerte traspasándole a otro hombre su sino fatal. Melmoth deambula en su búsqueda, creando las prodigiosas aventuras de un hombre que hace del terror una de las mayores y mejores creaciones del alma humana. El clérigo Charles Maturin cierra con esta sorprendente novela (1820) el ciclo literario de la novela gótica, tiempo que se vuelve a abrir de tiempo en tiempo --Poe, Lovecraft, Borges-- para afirmar el peso y el valor de lo maravilloso. ( )
  Eucalafio | Oct 9, 2020 |
This is a weirdly long book about which to say "I couldn't get into it," but somehow I read all 500+ pages and still feel that way. I love gothic novels, but this one just felt like it went on and on and on ... and on ... and on ... and on ... with stories-within-stories-within-stories and lots of anti-Catholic rhetoric. I don't know. I may just have to try again someday. ( )
  JBD1 | Aug 27, 2020 |
I shouldn't put down a review -- I'm only 50 pages in -- but I'm compelled to initiate this for two reasons: 1) this novel is already such delirious fun, and 2) I want to warn readers off Chris Baldick's Introduction -- it's of the "here are some facts about the novel you're about to read, which after all isn't very good" variety. Lordy. Why write an intro at all, dear Chris, if you don't like the goddamned book? Even from my meager accomplishment of 50 pages I feel like Baldick must have missed the point badly: his intro would have been less boring if he'd HATED Melmoth. Read it after the novel if you must.

You will want the notes in the Oxford edition, and you should repair to them when lost because they enrich the experience.

Good lord, the storminess of this! And it's FUNNY (and on purpose, I think).

UPDATE: I need to temper my initial take somewhat. I still think Baldick makes a bad case for bothering to read the book at all ... but maybe he's not that far off!

I'm having less fun with the novel, now. Uncharacteristically for me, I suppose, the main beef I'm having with the novel is that it DOES go on, and WILL go on -- at great length. I typically appreciate ... length, being a fan of Victorian fiction from way back. I think the real problem is that Maturin goes on at great length at a high pitch of intensity ... which teaches you that unrelieved intensity winds up being not really intense at all, but kind of boring. I am reminded of the old review of the acting of Edmund Kean that said it was "like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning." The issue is that if there's nothing but lightning for a while, you won't be able to see very well. Yes ... I'm stretching my metaphor(s).

This is especially a problem when the Wanderer himself is on stage. He is a melodramatic figure if anything, and a lot of him standing there melodrama-ing is ... really. A. Lot. Mwah-hah-hah, I say with sulphurously burning eyes! (lightning flash)

"Less is more" is both typically true and a cliche, and the same is true, I guess, for "more is less." ( )
  tungsten_peerts | Jul 19, 2020 |
A confusing book. At times incredibly tedious, and generally bewildering in its structure (I summarized a point in the book to a friend as: a character is telling a story about reading a story in which a character tells a story), the book is saved by having some of the genuinely creepiest scenes I can remember reading, and indeed the menace of the titular character is only cemented by his general absence punctuated by unexpected appearances that never bode well.

I'm reasonably glad to have held out for the OUP edition of the book because the Intro made good progress in explaining why the book is still in print. As a fan of Ann Radcliffe I understood it to be an important marker in Gothic literature, but I really appreciated the introduction's point that the very structure of Melmoth entails a destabilization of the orthodoxy that Maturin set out to reinforce. At times I found the 500 pages required for this trying, but if you enjoy long reads (as I do) this will surely appeal! ( )
  GracefulPhoton | Jun 1, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Maturin, Charlesautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Baldick, ChrisIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Grant, DouglasEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Perry, SarahIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sage, VictorEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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In the autumn of 1816, John Melmoth, a student in Trinity College, Dublin, quitted it to attend a dying uncle on whom his hopes for independence chiefly rested.
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Had I been told such a story of another, I would have denounced him as the most reckless and desperate being on earth - yet I was the man. p.212
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Written by an eccentric Anglican curate in Dublin, Melmoth Wanderer brought the terrors of the Gothic novel to a new pitch of claustrophobic intensity. Its tormented villain, a Faustian transgressor desperately seeking a victim to release him from his fatal bargain with the devil, regarded by Balzac as one of the great outcasts of modern literature. About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Mitjana: (3.77)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 12
2.5 3
3 46
3.5 17
4 48
4.5 11
5 41

Penguin Australia

Penguin Australia ha publicat 2 edicions d'aquest llibre.

Edicions: 014044761X, 0141199296

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