Nightmares of an Ether-Drinker
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Nightmares of an Ether-Drinker

by Jean Lorrain
Release date: 2002
Original title: Contes d'un buveur d'éther
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, horror, short stories
Tags: translation

The original book was published in 1895. Translated by Brian Stableford.

Contents:

  • Introduction by Brian Stableford
  • The Egregore (trans. of L'égrégore 1891)
  • Funeral Oration (trans. of Oraison funèbre 1891)
  • The Locked Room (trans. of La chambre close 1891)
  • Magic Lantern (trans. of Lanterne magique 1900)
  • The Glass of Blood (trans. of Le verre de sang 1892)
  • Beyond (trans. of Au-delà 1892)
  • Glaucous Eyes (trans. of Les yeux glauques 1891)
  • One of Them (trans. of L'un d'eux 1900)
  • An Undesirable Residence (trans. of Le mauvais gîte 1895)
  • A Troubled Night (trans. of Une nuit trouble 1895)
  • A Posthumous Protest (trans. of Réclamation posthume 1895)
  • An Uncanny Crime (trans. of Un crime inconnu 1895)
  • The Holes in the Mask (trans. of Les trous du masque 1895)
  • The Visionary (trans. of Le visionnaire 1895)
  • The Possessed (trans. of Le possédé 1895)
  • The Double (trans. of Le double 1895)
  • The Toad (trans. of Le crapaud 1895)
  • Night-Watch (trans. of Nuit de veille 1895)
  • The Spirit of the Ruins (trans. of L'âme des ruines 1895)
  • Dolmance (trans. of Dolmancé 1895)
  • One January Night (trans. of Nuit de janvier 1895)
  • The Spectral Hand (trans. of La main gantée 1895)
  • Prey to Darkness (trans. of Proie de ténèbres 1895)
  • The Princess of the Red Lilies (trans. of La princesse aux lys rouges 1902)
  • The Princess at the Sabbat (trans. of La princesse au sabbat 1902)
  • The Princess aux Miroirs (trans. of La princesse aux miroirs 1899)
  • Narkiss (trans. of Narkiss 1902)

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Synopsis for the Snuggly Books edition (February 2016):

None of Jean Lorrain’s biographers has contrived to discover exactly when or why he began taking ether, or how much of it he took before realising (too late) that it was an extremely bad idea. The drug certainly helped provide the feverish, nightmarish atmosphere of these wonderfully decadent and sophisticated tales, and many of the apparitions with which they are populated.

Brian Stableford’s superb translations represent the first appearance in English of Jean Lorrain’s ether-inspired ‘nightmares’, originally collected as “Sensations et souvenirs” in 1895. The later tales also translated here for the first time are in the tradition of the contes cruel, and in them the influence of ether-drinking is still very much apparent.

In his authoritative Introduction Brian Stableford presents Lorrain as one of the select band of literary figures “whose life and art were bound together into the most seamless whole. He was the man who embodied, more intimately and more inescapably than any other, the absurdities, affectations, paradoxes and perversities of the Decadent style and the Decadent world-view.”

(updated 2016-03-03)

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