The Slave of the Lamp

"But true love is a beautiful insanity."


"The pertinacity of ignorance is wonderful!"

When I first visited the Vault at Pfaff's, the site introduced me especially to two authors: Elizabeth Stoddard and William North. Stoddard turned out to be truly a rare gem, a quintessential analyst of the human condition. North is described by the Vault as one who "served as a catalyst for helping the bohemians to forge their identity as a group," and after producing Kindle editions of Stoddard's Two Men and Temple House, I turned my attention to him.

While I can frankly say that I don't find in him the literary mastery of Elizabeth Stoddard, yet for me he most definitely personifies the pioneer soul of the Bohemian literary movement: young, brash, idealistic, romantic, critical, irreverent, and—above all—earnest. Ultimately, I chose his final—posthumously published—novel, The Slave of the Lamp [1855], as worthy of transcription. Be forewarned, however: for all its devotion to intellectual liberty, repudiation of social and political norms, and rejection of cultural fossils, this novel is indisputably a bathetic soap opera.

So here it is: the master HTML version, the home-brew Kindle version, and the actual Amazon publication.

October 28, 2019

ffred's nearly-forgotten treasures