Le Mystère d'Eusèbe.Buenos Aires: Aristides Quillet, 1942 Stock Code: 121460
First edition, first printing, very scarce in commerce, presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the half-title, "Pour 'Message' Londres. Avec les hommages et les voeux de l'auteur. Albert Caraco. Buenos Aires, le 25.9.42, Calle Pino 3426". The London-based periodical Message: Belgian Review was published during 1941-46 and reviewed Caraco's book in issue 15, January 1943.
Albert Caraco (1919-1971) was born in Istanbul to a wealthy Sephardic family and led a peripatetic childhood, living in Vienna, Prague and Berlin. With the rise of the Nazis the family left Berlin for Paris, where Albert was educated, before the threat of war forced them to South America, the pattern of their European wanderings being repeated in Honduras, Brazil, Argentina (where the present work was published) and, finally, Montevideo, where they settled and took up Uruguayan nationality. The family returned to Paris in 1946, Albert adopting an almost monastic isolation. Following the death of his parents he died by suicide. His nihilism means that he is often mentioned in the same breath as Céline. Le Mystère d'Eusèbe is an early work, and was reviewed by Pierre Delattre, later christened by The New York Times as "the beatnik priest", who remarked that "this is a drama and probably the author's best work to date The intrigue and the thesis are borrowed from Tirso de Molina's drama El condenado por desconfiado, but the action takes place in France around the sixteenth century. It illustrates vividly the conflict between freedom and predestination, contrasting the evolution of Faith in two men: Troussequeue, a rogue, is saved as he repents at the last moment, while Eusèbe, a monk, degenerates and is damned. This leaves only a small part to the tragic and serious element, most of the play being taken by burlesque action which is inspired all at once from the best and the worst in the picaresque novels and the fabliaux. The author himself contributes the excellent illustrations" (Books Abroad, Vol. 18, No. 3, Summer 1944, p. 267). Well represented institutionally in US and European libraries, we can trace no copy among British and Irish libraries.
Octavo. Original wrappers, title to spine and front cover, illustrations to covers in red and black. With original glassine jacket.
Illustrated title page and 4 plates by the author.
Toned spine with slight wear to spine ends, a bit of loss to extremities, consistently toned internally. A very good copy.
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