By Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, Paul Vincent
Slauerhoff’s The Forbidden country is a mix of old chronicle, fiction and statement, bringing jointly the possible unrelated lives of a twentieth-century ship’s radio operator and the sixteenth-century Portuguese poet-in-exile, Luis Camo~es. Slauerhoff attracts his reader right into a impressive international of exoticism, betrayal and exile, the place previous and current merge and the potential for loss of life isn't distant.
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Additional resources for The Forbidden Kingdom
Roche teaches at Benning ton College in Vermont. Preface Some years ago, while visiting, or rather exploring, Notre-Dame, the author of this book discovered in an obscure corner of one of the towers this word, carved upon the wall: 舖ANƓTKHa These Greek characters, black with age and cut deep into the stone with the peculiarities of form and arrangement common to Gothic calligraphy that marked them the work of some hand in the Middle Ages, and above all the sad and mournful meaning which they expressed, forcibly impressed the author.
It is the reader who is charged with recognizing its final expression in the account given in the novel舗s last chapter of two anonymous skeletons found sometime later in the vault at Montfaucon, locked in an embrace. Without naming them, the description leaves no doubt that one is Esmeralda (identifiable by the remnants of her white gown and the empty bag that once contained her childhood shoe) and the other is Quasimodo (identifiable by the remains of his hideously deformed body), who disappeared from the cathedral the day of Esmeralda舗s death.
For the only place where his opposing poles can be truly reconciled is in the cosmic whole; it is in leaving his shell of a body behind (it significantly crumbles into dust when separated from that of Esmeralda) that this awakened soul can take flight. This message that redemption and salvation are possible, but never in the world as it exists now, is the thread that binds all of Hugo舗s novels together like a quilt whose squares, when viewed carefully, each reveal the same intricate pattern. Everything that is in The Hunchback of Notre Dame will be retraced, retold, rein-vented in Hugo舗s four subsequent novels.