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Published: 1908
Language: English
Wordcount: 14,347 / 47 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 58.2
LoC Category: PQ
Downloads: 49,811
Added to site: 2007.09.19 18294

Translated By Lafcadio Hearn.

Show Excerpt

very dress might serve as a pall for your coffin.

And I felt life rising within me like a subterranean lake, expanding and overflowing; my blood leaped fiercely through my arteries; my long-restrained youth suddenly burst into active being, like the aloe which blooms but once in a hundred years, and then bursts into blossom with a clap of thunder.

What could I do in order to see Clarimonde once more? I had no pretext to offer for desiring to leave the seminary, not knowing any person in the city. I would not even be able to remain there but a short time, and was only waiting my assignment to the curacy which I must thereafter occupy. I tried to remove the bars of the window; but it was at a fearful height from the ground, and I found that as I had no ladder it would be useless to think of escaping thus. And, furthermore, I could descend thence only by night in any event, and afterward how should I be able to find my way through the inextricable labyrinth of streets? All these difficulties, which

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 5 reviews: ****
Lisa Carr

An ornate and creepy story of a priest who falls in love with a courtesan at the moment he is being ordained. He is assigned to a a small church near a forest, and becomes dominated by his dreams, in which he and the courtesan live a dissolute life in Venice.
He loses track of which life is real--or does he? The courtesan dies--or does she?

Leah A. Zeldes

A newly ordained priest dreams of a second life with a beautiful courtesan, sensuous dreams so vivid he cannot tell which is his waking life. Is she a demon, a succubus, a vampire? He doesn't care — he loves her. Haunting imagery and exquisite prose, yet the point of this short story seems to be that priests are too weak to withstand temptation. (Likely true, as recent news has continually demonstrated.)


Excellent "oh ah" melodrama from 19th century, with wonderfully rich and romantic Gothic imagery! And Clarimonde is most sumptuous sirens of vampire literature, easily outshining these modern upstarts!


This starts out as a love story, but then turns into something gruesome. Fans of the book "Carmilla" will enjoy this novella.

Waldo Gemio

Beautifully told story of a priest who falls in love with a beautiful woman at the very moment of taking his vows, and proceeds to lead a double life.

But she's dead.

Or is she?



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