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Jan Potocki (1761 - 1815)
Lifespan: 1760s - 1815
Related: 1700s literature - 1797 - fantastic literature - fantastique - supernatural - orientalism - Poland
The early 19th century novel "Manuscrit trouvé ŕ Saragosse" by Count Jan Potocki, which survived in its Polish translation after the loss of the original in French, became a world classic. [May 2006]
Contemporaries: Ann Radcliffe - Hokusai - Friedrich Hegel - Mary Wollstonecraft
The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (1797) - Jan Potocki [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The stories in The Manuscript Found in Saragossa cover a wide range of genres and subjects, including the gothic, the picaresque, the erotic, the historical, the moral, and the philosophic; and as a whole the novel reflects Potocki's far-reaching interests, but especially his deep fascination with secret societies, the supernatural, and so-called Oriental cultures. [Jan 2007]
The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (1797) - Jan Potocki
The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (original French title Manuscrit trouvé ŕ Saragosse, also known in English as Saragossa Manuscript), by the Polish author Jan Potocki (1761-1815), is a frame tale novel from the period of the Napoleonic Wars. The novel was adapted as a Polish-language film by the director Wojciech Has in 1965 and later as a Romanian-language play, Saragosa, 66 de Zile (Saragossa, 66 Days) written and directed by Alexandru Dabija.
The Manuscript Found in Saragossa collects the intertwining stories, all of them set in whole or in part in Spain, with a large and colorful cast of gypsies, thieves, inquisitors, a cabbalist, a geometer, the cabbalist's beautiful sister, two Moorish princesses (Emina and Zibelda), and others that the brave, perhaps foolhardy, Walloon Guard Alphonse van Worden meets, imagines, or reads about in the Sierra Morena mountains of 18th century Spain while en route to Madrid. Recounted to the narrator over the course of sixty-six days, the novel's stories quickly overshadow van Worden's frame story, and the bulk of the novel's stories revolve around the gypsy chief Avadoro, whose story becomes a frame story itself; eventually the narrative focus moves again towards van Worden's frame story and a conspiracy involving an underground — or perhaps entirely hallucinated — Muslim society, revealing the connections and correspondences between the hundred or so stories told over the novel's sixty-six days.
The stories cover a wide range of genres and subjects, including the gothic, the picaresque, the erotic, the historical, the moral, and the philosophic; and as a whole the novel reflects Potocki's far-reaching interests, but especially his deep fascination with secret societies, the supernatural, and so-called Oriental cultures. The stories-within-stories of the novel sometimes reach several levels of depth, and characters and themes — a few prominent themes being honor, disguise, metamorphosis, and conspiracy — recur and change shape throughout. Because of this rich interlocking structure, the novel has drawn favorable comparisons to such celebrated works as the Decameron and the Arabian Nights. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manuscript_Found_in_Saragossa [Jan 2006]
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