Atlantida (novel)

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For other uses, see L'Atlantide (disambiguation).
Atlantida
Author Pierre Benoit
Original title L'Atlantide
Translator Mary C. Tongue and Mary Ross
Country United States
Language English
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher Duffield
Publication date
1920
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages iii, 303 pp
ISBN NA

Atlantida (French: L'Atlantide) is a French novel by Pierre Benoit published in February 1919. It was translated into English in 1920 as Atlantida. L'Atlantide was Benoit's second novel, following Koenigsmark, and it won the Grand Prize of the French Academy. The English translation of Atlantida was first published in the United States as a serial in Adventure magazine.[1]

The story inspired many films.

Plot summary[edit]

It is 1896 in the Sahara. Two officers, André de Saint-Avit and Jean Morhange investigate the disappearance of their fellow officers. While doing so, they are drugged and kidnapped by a Tarqui warrior, the procurer for the monstrous Queen Antinea. Antinea, descendant of the rulers of Atlantis, has a cave wall with 120 niches carved into it, one for each of her lovers. Only 53 have been filled; when all 120 have been filled, Antinea will sit atop a throne in the center of the cave and rest forever.

Saint-Avit is unable to resist Antinea's charms. By her will, he murders the asexual Morhange. Ultimately, he is able to escape and get out of the desert alive.

Plagiarism case[edit]

During October 1919, literary critic Harry Magden alleged that Benoit, in writing L'Atlantide, had plagiarised H. Rider Haggard's She and The Yellow God. Benoit sued for libel, and lost.

Film adaptations[edit]

The first film adaptation of L'Atlantide was made during 1920 (and released in 1921), directed by Jacques Feyder.

During 1932–1933, famed German film director Georg Wilhelm Pabst made three films based on the novel, one each in German, English, and French (this was common in the early to mid-1930s) They were titled Die Herrin von Atlantis, The Mistress of Atlantis, and L'Atlantide, respectively.

An American film version of the story was released during 1949 under the title Siren of Atlantis, starring María Montez.

The Italian-made peplum film Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis (Ercole alla conquista di Atlantide, 1961), directed by Vittorio Cottafavi, drew heavily on the plot and characters of the book, having Queen Antinea capture Hercules and his companion Androcles, and imprisoning them in her red-lined underground palace. Androcles takes the Saint-Avit role and tries to murder Hercules, who (unsurprisingly) is able to resist Antinea's wiles and eventually saves the day. The film incorporates an anti-nuclear theme and has been praised by critics as one of the better Pepla ("Sword-and-sandal") films. However its alternative US title – Hercules and the Captive Women – makes clear the audience it was expected to attract. Another Italian film, the comedy Totò sceicco (1950) starring Totò, is a parody of the story (and in particular of the 1949 film Siren of Atlantis).

During 1992, another film adaptation of the novel was made, L'Atlantide, directed by Bob Swaim and starring Tchéky Karyo, Jean Rochefort, Anna Galiena, and the famous Spanish actor, Fernando Rey.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Forgotten Giant: Hoffman's Adventure" by Richard Bleiler. Purple Prose Magazine, November 1998, p. 3-12.
  • L'Atlantide.
  • Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. p. 47. 
  • A facsimile of the 1920 English translation was published by Bison Books under the title Queen of Atlantis in 2005.

External links[edit]