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Book Review: FANTASMAGORIANA: “The Ghost of the Departed”

There are different translations available of FANTASMAGORIANA, as indeed there were from the very beginning. The first edition came out in 1812 in French, with an English translation released in 1813. The original contained eight stories. The English version was truncated. “The Ghost of the Departed” or, in its original form, “Le Revenant,” was omitted from the second edition. Upon reading it, it is obvious as to why. “The Ghost of the Departed” does not belong, as it is not a ghost story. It is a Romance with the false trappings of a ghost story. Fans of TWILIGHT should enjoy it. It didn’t do a lot for me.

Young dude marries young la femme. Gets tired of her. Goes off on a trip wherein he fakes his death to be free of her. Starts to miss her. As he and she, back when they liked each other, had sworn to never be separated, even by death, and had sworn that if one should die before the other, the departed one would return in ghost form to stay by the side of the other, young dude takes advantage of this promise to start appearing in her boudoir at night. She thinks he is a ghost. At the end of the story, when she realizes he is still living flesh-and-blood and that she has been duped, she joyously takes him back and the two live happily ever after. Childish.

TheCheezman • March 29, 2019

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