Le Fou de Palerme.
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Le Fou de Palerme,
Alfred Mercier. Text edited by Carrie A. Lombardino.
Alfred Mercier published his first novel, Le Fou de Palerme,
in 1873. This delightful tale shows the profound influence of French
Romanticism on the young writer. Indeed, the exoticism of the setting,
ricocheting between the cemetery of Palermo and the palace gardens
of the Duke Serra di Falco, owes much to the haunting tales of Théophile
de Gautier and Alexandre Dumas. Le Fou de Palerme recounts
the story of the young and handsome cellist, Angiolo Calamatti who
makes the fateful discovery that the beautiful stranger he has come
to love is more that she seems. Ensnared ever more tightly in her
seductive web, Angiolo teeters on the edge of insanity when he discovers
he has been seduced by Death itself. Mercier’s novel offers
the reader a sublime tale of fantastic love and untimely death—a
delightful example of Louisiana Romanticism.