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Clarimonde by Théophile Gautier
By: (1811-1872)

Original title “La Morte Amoreuse.” This is the story of a priest named Romauld, and his all-consuming love for the beautiful courtesan, Clarimonde.

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By Théophile Gautier

Translated By Lafcadio Hearn


Brother, you ask me if I have ever loved. Yes. My story is a strange and terrible one; and though I am sixty six years of age, I scarcely dare even now to disturb the ashes of that memory. To you I can refuse nothing; but I should not relate such a tale to any less experienced mind. So strange were the circumstances of my story, that I can scarcely believe myself to have ever actually been a party to them. For more than three years I remained the victim of a most singular and diabolical illusion. Poor country priest though I was, I led every night in a dream would to God it had been all a dream! a most worldly life, a damning life, a life of Sardanapalus. One single look too freely cast upon a woman well nigh caused me to lose my soul; but finally by the grace of God and the assistance of my patron saint, I succeeded in casting out the evil spirit that possessed me. My daily life was long interwoven with a nocturnal life of a totally different character. By day I was a priest of the Lord, occupied with prayer and sacred things; by night, from the instant that I closed my eyes I became a young nobleman, a fine connoisseur in women, dogs, and horses; gambling, drinking, and blaspheming; and when I awoke at early daybreak, it seemed to me, on the other hand, that I had been sleeping, and had only dreamed that I was a priest... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - February 26, 2013
Subject: Shakespearian passion
The narrator is wonderful, seems more like a Shakespearian actress doing a very long monologue than just a narrator BUT it is a bit distracting that it is a female narrator when the protagonist is a male and the book is written from the first person point of view. I haven't finished it yet, but am enjoying the over the top love at first sight experienced by the main character that could only happen in a period piece of this sort. Twenty minutes of heartfelt passion and appreciation of a woman's beauty today would translate to "she's hot." I'm hoping this narrator "performs" other audiobooks because she is very good, but would have preferred a male voice for this one.

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