Intimations of Death by Felix Timmermans
Trade Paperback – Valancourt – 2019 – 150 pages
A boy’s mother lies upstairs seriously ill, and in every crash of thunder or hollow chime of the clock he seems to hear a portent of her death.—A scholar of the occult finds his marriage threatened by horrifying and otherworldly noises emanating from the cellar.—During a plague outbreak, a gravedigger accidentally prepares one too many graves and becomes obsessed with the thought that the final grave will be his own.—A haunted man, seeking refuge in a monastery, is convinced that Death itself stalks him in the building’s lonely halls.—When a suicide pact goes awry, a man believes the ghost of his vengeful lover has returned to destroy him.
These are the plots of the five tales in Intimations of Death (1910), available at last in English for the first time. Belgian author Felix Timmermans (1886-1947) was highly popular in his lifetime for his humorous tales of rural life, but in this early collection, written after a near-death experience with a serious illness, Timmermans reveals a more morbid side and delivers a collection of psychological horror tales worthy of Edgar Allan Poe. This edition, brilliantly translated by award-winning translator Paul Vincent, includes the macabre woodcut illustrations from the original Dutch edition and an introduction by John Howard.