Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Hearts of Kings

The Hearts of KingsThe Hearts of Kings by Hanns Heinz Ewers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This short, cutting work is a decadent delight. Written in the mythopoetic style so familiar to readers of decadent literature, this story holds dearly to the human elements of tragedy, madness, and artistic genius. There is a strong latency from the Symbolist movement throughout, one must understand that, as a work of decadence, the title is to be taken literally and viscerally. The story cuts to the heart of power and its exercise over society, as manifested in Stefan Eggeler's darkly-beautiful etchings. The drawings and prose, housed in a gold-embossed cloth cover with bronze- and gold-faux-foil endpapers, are a treasure within a treasure. This is a book that is not, however, for the faint of heart. If you are looking for fairy tales of royalty, you will soon find yourself looking askance at this grueling tale, which leans more toward Poe than Huysmans.

This (absolutely gorgeous) edition is one of 493 copies, available from Ajna. You may ask yourself: "Self, do you really want to spend that much money on a 52 page book?"

Yes. Yes, you most definitely do. Trust me on this one: it's worth way more than you'll pay, until they go out of stock and the price just starts getting higher and higher as this peculiar gem of a work is sought after more and more.

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