Malpertuis

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For the castle in the Reynard cycle, see Maleperduis.
For the film, see Malpertuis (film).
Frontipiece for Malpertuis by Jean Ray, 1943

Malpertuis (1943) is a gothic horror novel by the Belgian author Jean Ray.[1]

Premise[edit]

Malpertuis is a crumbling, ancient house where a dying warlock has trapped the aging gods of Olympus inside the "skins" of ordinary Flemish citizens.

Structure[edit]

The novel is divided into four narratives:

  1. The modern-day narrator (who remains unnamed) explains in a prologue that he stole the manuscripts that comprise the rest of the novel from the Convent of the White Penitents. In the epilogue, he locates Malpertuis, sees Eisengott and Old Mother Groulle in a tavern, enters the house, has a brief encounter with Euryale then flees.
  2. Doucedame the Elder's story of the capture of the Olympians; it has presumably been assembled by Doucedame the Younger.
  3. The diary of Jean-Jacques Grandsire (also broken into two parts) that ends when he and Bets leave Malpertuis.
  4. Father Euchere (aka Dom Misseron) of the Convent of the White Penitents, and reveals the final fates of both Jean-Jacques Grandsire and Doucedame the Younger.

Film adaptation[edit]

Main article: Malpertuis (film)

During 1971 the Belgian director Harry Kümel made a film adaptation of the novel, starring Orson Welles, Susan Hampshire and Mathieu Carrière.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert Hadji (1986) "Jean Ray" in The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural edited by Jack Sullivan: 350

External links[edit]