Translated by Brian Stableford.
The Torch-Bearers tells the story of an itinerant Anarchist preacher who comes to the corrupt city of Geronta in the company of a fellow vagabond, where he begins preaching in parables, that being his preferred method of enlightenment. He hears a number of other story-tellers narrating their own parables, to which he opposes his own in order to expose their ideological flaws.
Here, presented in English for the first time in a superb translation by Brian Stableford, is one of the most interesting novels of the Symbolist Movement — the elaborate fruit of author Bernard Lazare’s wholehearted commitment to both Symbolist and Anarchist ideals. This striking literary experiment, testing the hypothesis that the raw materials of myth, legend and folklore, which had been redeployed and pastiched so successfully by the Movement, could be adapted to Anarchist purposes.