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By Gustav Meyrink

Meyrink's brief tales epitomized the non-plus-ultra of all sleek writing. Their very good colour, their spine-chilling and peculiar inventiveness, their aggression, their succinctness of favor, their overwhelming originality and ideas, that is so glaring in each sentence and word that there appear to be no lacunae all this captivated me, and looked as if it would me to supply the correct antidote to all of the adjectival prose and shallow, fake romanticism of the instant previous iteration. --Max Brod

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Sample text

Tutti lo miran, tutti onor Ii fanno : quivi vid' Yo Socrate e Platone, m che 'nnanzi a Ii altri piu presso Ii stanno; Democrito che 'l mondo a caso pone, Dlogenes, Anassagora e Tale, m Empedocles, Eraclito e Zenone; e vidi il buono accoglitor del quale, Dlascoride dico; e vidi Orfeo, u1 Tullo e Lino e Seneca morale; Euclide geometra e Tolomeo, lpocrate, Avicenna e Galleno, 144 Averois che 'l gran comento feo. FER IV 106-144 Nous parvinmes au pied d'un noble chateau* sept fois entoure de hauts murs 10s et defendu par une belle riviere.

Molte fiate l'omo ingombra si che d'onrata impresa lo rivolve, come falso veder bestia quand' ombra. Da questa tema accio che tu ti solve, dirotti perch' io venni e quel ch'io 'ntesi nel primo punto che di te mi dolve. Io era tra color che son sospesi, e donna mi chiamo beata e bella, ta! che di comandare io la richiesi. Lucevan Ii occhi suoi piu che la stella; e cominciommi a dir soave e piana, con angelica voce, in sua favella : "O anima cortese mantoana, di cui la fama ancor nel mondo dura, e durera quanto 'I mondo lontana, l'amico mio, e non de la ventura, ne la diserta piaggia e impedito si nel cammin, che volt' e per paura; e temo che non sia gia si smarrito, ch'io mi sia tardi al soccorso levata, per quel ch'i' ho di lui nel cielo udito.

Amor, ch'a nullo amato amar perdona, mi prese de! costui piacer sf forte, 1os che, come vedi, ancor non m'abbandona. ENFER V 67-105 Tu vois Paris, Tristan »; ainsi ii m'en montra et m'en designa du doigt plus de mille 69 qu'amour ota de notre vie. Quand j'eus ainsi entendu mon docteur nommer Jes dames de jadis et Jes cavaliers, n pitie me prit, et je devins comme egare. Je commen~ai : « Poete, volontiers je parlerais a ces deux-ci* qui vont ensemble, 1; et qui semblent si legers dans le vent. 'amour qui Jes mene, et ils viendront.

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