BOOK DETAILS

The Devil's Clerk

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Description :

Teaser: One reader. One secret writer. The Faustian legend. Crowds of desperate people consult the writer because they believe that he knows how to cope with the Devil....

First published in France by Belfond. 

Finalist of the Grand Prix du Premier Roman at the Salon du Livre, in Paris. Translated from the original French by Nail Chiodo.

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Summary: Souls are a business. The view that everything is business and that there is a market for everything including souls has found  paramount expression in the Western myth of Faust, a man who lived in Germany in the XVIth century and who was celebrated as a hero: Faust sold himself to the devil to satisfy his infinite thirst of knowledge and insatiable search for pleasure. The devil oversees his initiation to the occult sciences and grants him enviable powers, including eternal youth and wealth. Many artists, writers, poets, and musicians were inspired by Faust especially during the XIXth century (the most famous one being Goethe).

Frédéric Charles Dévé, in The Devil's Clerk, proposes a contemporary version of this myth in Nicaragua, Central America, during the Sandinista Revolution – the last upsurge of socialist inspiration to have opposed US hegemony. Miserable people who are facing extreme poverty seek the assistance of a local devil, Chico Largo, and want to sell their souls to him in exchange of better living conditions. At first glance, this appears to be a legend, but in reality it is much more. Dévé's novel tells the story of Ruetcel, a European geographer who is a member of one of the international brigades fighting in the terrible civil war that is devastating the country. In the course of his stay in Nicaragua, he meets a number of individuals who prefer to risk eternal damnation in exchange for the  mere chance of survival. He also meets a wealthy landlord who is said to be the agent of the devil Chico Largo – a sort of clerk to Mephistopheles... 

Author Details

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