THE IMMORTALS - & Other Stories of Love and Immortality (Edouard d'ARAILLE et alia)
Unique series of tales relating to the themes of Love and Immortality. Romance and Legend, Comedy and Horror, Fantasy and Drama - all find their place here. American, Russian, French, Japanese and English writers present their truly individual views.
"Woe's me, that there are no herbs for curing love!" Horace
Love and Immortality: The title emphasizes one of the main themes of this collection, namely, Immortality. The other central theme is indicated quite clearly on the cover, and that is - Love. It is the combination of these two themes, which in some of the stories are jointly touched upon, that unite together all the variety of tales here presented.
"Far, far up, high in the ether, far above this solitary planet, far from these lovers, higher than even the moon can see, a mountain of flames - as tall as the earth itself - flares up uncontrollably above the blazing surface of a nearby sun. And as it does so a single stray droplet of liquid fire slides off the tip of this fiery peak - departing into the black spaces. As the raging fireball of light roars through the sky at an extraordinary speed, faster even than the revolving world, beneath the thick foliage of the forest it was not possible for Dimitri and Natalya to see it streaking through the skies like a shooting star - for the lovers could barely see their own way up ahead!"
Contained in this Collection: 0. The Abyss - by Leonid Andreyev / 1. The Mask - by Guy de Maupassant / 2. The Story of Itô Norisuké - by Lafcadio Hearn / 3. The Golden Touch - by Nathaniel Hawthorne / 4. Where Love is, there is God also - by Count Leo Tolstoy / 5. The Lovely Lady - by D.H. Lawrence / 6. The Raven - by Edgar Allan Poe / 7. Psyche and the Psyscraper - by O.Henry / 8. The Mysterious Mansion - by Honoré de Balzac / 00. The Immortals or, The Field of the Fallen Skies - by Edouard d'Araille
The Immortals - or, The Field of the Fallen Skies
An Extract (from the Title Story): "The hustle and bustle of the city streets seemed thousands of miles distant now, - all that existed their bodies, hand in hand advancing over the variegated country landscape in the warm glow of a sun whose lower rim had only very recently begun to disappear beneath the horizon. The fields are still the same green hue as they have been for the last few hours, though the air is already beginning to cool. A woman's voice says:
"Hadn't we better start heading back before the sun sets?"
Without turning his face towards her own a man's voice replies:
"Don't worry, we are going back, for we can reach your house in this direction too. It should not take any longer. We shall be there very soon indeed."
Although she has never travelled home this way before, in fact, believes that they are continuing to walk away from her village on the outskirts of the city, Natalya does not question what her lover says as she has no real desire to return yet. She has never been so elated as she now feels herself to be, - does not want the walking to end nor the sun to descend.
She tells herself that it would surely be alright if they stayed out here for just a little bit longer. They could easily cross one or two more fields before the 'orb of fire' (as her lover so poetically calls it) 'will have vanished beyond the boundaries of the earth.' And then they could turn back, yes, that would be fine, wouldn't it? She swings her hand through the air with his and they carry on advancing, free of all cares. What matters more than that now? They have found each other. They will find their way home without thinking - there is no need to worry about that!
The cloudless blue sky is gradually transmuting into an iridescent orange by passing through all of the intervening colours of the spectrum. Lulled by the soothing embrace of this light the pair of young lovers barely notice as the fields of grass and corn, bare soil and barley, one after another, recede into nothingness beyond the perimeter of their vision, ever replaced by new ones up ahead, like an endless kaleidoscope."