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Manuscript gevonden te Zaragoza
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Manuscript gevonden te Zaragoza

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  1,387 ratings  ·  127 reviews
In een verlaten herberg, ergens op de Spaanse hoogvlakte, beleeft de jonge, uit de Lage Landen afkomstige edelman Alphonse van Worden een adembenemende nacht met twee Moorse prinsessen. De volgende ochtend ontwaakt hij op een galgeveld, met een strop om zijn nek.
In het vervolg van deze wonderbaarlijke roman raakt Alphonsew verstrikt in een reeks fantastische avonturen. Hij
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Paperback, derde druk, 554 pages
Published 2005 by Wereldbibliotheek (first published 1804)
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William1
Unlike many so called classic texts I have read this one doesn't seem to have dated much. At least not in its first half. The writing is thought by scholars to have begun about 1809. As Salman Rushdie says in an attached blurb "...it reads like the most brilliant modern novel." I think that might be an effect of the recent English translation offered here that seems to give the text such a contemporary feel, like a modern-day historic novel.

The premise is that in the 1760s a Walloon officer name
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Adam
Am I allowed to fully love a book I have never finished? A twisting gothic story cycle of tales within tales(and then within tales again) Kind of an updating of 1001 arabian nights and Dante's Divine Comedy(or the Decameron or Canterbery tales)for the age of reason(?!)Filled with ghoulish horror and lots of duels, weird intrigue, kabbalah, ghosts, hidden treasures, and lots of stories. If you are a fan of Milorad Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars, Isak Dinesen's Seven Gothic Tales, Robert Irwin' ...more
Szplug
Potocki brought a little bit of everything to this book of tales within tales within tales: gothic horror, bildungsroman, swashbuckling adventure, picaresque reminiscent of the great Lazarillo de Tormes, philosophical and theological exposition, libertine erotica, political intrigue, travelogue—in other words, a true olla podrida of styles, narrated in an arch, dry, and ultra-witty voice that has been admirably delivered from the French original by the English scholar Ian Maclean. The Manuscript ...more
Drew
I've never been a particularly fast reader and this book was consumed in the smallest of sips until I was stuck in hospital for a week and swallowed the last 300 pages in one gulp.
Jan Potocki sounds like a character that Jan Potocki would invent: nobleman, warrior, diplomat, poet, lover, etc., etc. According to legend he shot himself with a decorative strawberry from the top of his silver sugar canister. Each day he filed away at it for a few strokes and when it was through he settled his bills
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Steve Sewall
There's a fine film, The Saragossa Manuscripts, championed by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, that captivated me when I saw it in 1968. But the film is a smidgeon of the book, a what awaits readers .

I concluded after two readings of this book that it is humanly impossible to grasp it on a single reading. Like many other great writers, Potocki wrote to be reread. His reader must be sufficiently entranced after a first reading want to find out what lies at its heart - indeed, to see if it even
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Cailin
I read this for my senior seminar in college; the topic of the course was Possible Worlds. It was accompanied by a little too much Leibniz. Regardless, the sometimes exhausting tome was amusing, a little scary, and had a pleasing POINT... to those of us who love the labyrinth of literature and the idea of stories in life, as well as print.
The characters, time period, and setting are all quite interesting; the plot too, is compelling. But what makes this book GOOD is the execution of something m
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Ned
this is my third read of this in ten years. A rarity, that.
Timeless. Always enigmatic. These are overused today as hyperbolic advertisement for things like cheese-puffs and belly-button rings. This book isn't like that at all.
Maybe I should tell the story about how I found this one.

Before the internet, before I got a second computer I used to keep lists. On paper with a pen lists of news topics. Alphabetized for later much easier access I would make my lists til there was no more room on the pag
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James
This is truly a strange and fun book. Written by a very eccentric Pole around the turn of the 19th century, it recounts a whole slew of frame tales set in 16th century Spain. It moves very quickly. At one point the narratives are nested 4 deep (a story within a story within a story within a story). It has Vampires and compulsive dueling, a wordless romance communicated exclusively through the making of colored inks, a calculus of morality and wisdom, and a vast conspiracy theory of European hist ...more
Lee Foust
Although I feel as though this review will almost immediately drift into minor criticisms--provoked by my living in the hectic 21st century versus the leisurely pace of an 18th century text as episodic, as long, as intricate, and as self-involved as __The Manuscript Found in Saragossa__, let me first say that this is a pretty fantastic book, both for its engrossing tales, but primarily for those very intricacies and formal narrative somersaults that I have seldom found in other texts of this typ ...more
Santiago Ortiz
Awsesome, sui generis, book, its structure and social landscape is complex and intrincate; let me just share some quotes:

"All the gypsy’s stories begin in a simple enough way and you think you can already predict the end. But things turn out quite differently. The first story engenders the second, from which a third is born, and so on, like periodic fractions resulting from certain divisions which can be indefinitely prolonged. In mathematics there are several ways of bringing certain progressio
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Philippe Malzieu
At the beginning for me it was a movie. Black and white movie see at random a day in ciné-club. I read the book after and I find it delicious. A picaresque book with many link between them like russian doll. A real masterpiece.
Ignacio Senao f
Al igual que ocurre en “Melmoth el Errabundo” un laberinto de historias dentro de otras historias, narradas por sus protagonistas. Como escenario principal España, y sus costumbres de aquella época. Curioso que ambos autores no son de esta nacionalidad.

No es una lectura para todos los paladares, requiero una concentración y motivación (la cual no he tenido), para su plena comprensión. Muchos nombres que se entrelazan, y si pierdes el hilo de uno de ellos, todo deja de tener sentido. Sé muy bien
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Al Bità
Almost any description of this work is unjust: one is forced to tell only about some of the many elements it contains without really exhausting its complexity. And even that statement is misleading. I think, perhaps, the 'simplest' description is to call it a kind of literary snapshot of Spain set in the mid-18th century.

It achieves this by imposing a strict framework: 66 days of travelling, in which the 'main hero' (who becomes significantly less central to the work as it progresses) meets up w
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Michael
Pure excellence. Traversing the intricate labyrinth of Potocki's masterpiece is a daunting challenge and will require periods rest during gestation, however the difficulty does not lie in the length of the work's passages, rather in the frequent addition of new voices, perspectives, places, dates (accurate and inaccurate) and relations that sometimes leave you wishing for a character map.

Alas, this book is greatly fulfilling -- every page of this work is guaranteed to produce amusement or provi
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Tim Pendry
This is an overrated picaresque 'classic' from very early in the nineteenth century. It has its moments of genuine surprise and horror - indeed eroticism - but it is also overwrought, messy and confused.

Brian Stableford has produced a solid piece of academic background for this edition. We are really not very sure of the book's origin. Is it Polish or French and, if Polish, which Potocki wrote it?

There have been great cultural claims for this book - including claims of it holding secret qabbalis
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Jake Thomas
Feb 12, 2008 Jake Thomas rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Story lovers, fans of wacky, trippy fun.
I recently got engaged. My fiance's family has a love for this book, so I figured I should read it before going down to spend Thanksgiving with them last year. There are moments in life where stars allign, the world comes into relief and you feel the comforting hands of kismet massaging your shoulders. If these people loved this book then we were going to get along just fine.

This book is astounding. If you love stories, good old-fashioned yarns, this book should be bumped to the top of your read
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Dominika Kaníková
These stories were so captivating and easy to read so i felt like i read it in a while. You have got the opportunity to get to know stories of people that were strange and scary. Lovely book.

*4,5*
James F
I had never heard of this classic of Polish literature (originally written in French) until it was suggested to me by a colleague at another library in Utah. It certainly deserves to be better known.

A manuscript is found by a French officer during the looting at the siege of Saragossa; although he knows little Spanish, it seems interesting to him and he has it translated into French. It proves to be a journal of 66 days in the life of Alphonse van Worden, a Walloon officer in the Spanish army. T
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Fausto
POLIÉDRICO LIBRO

No soy ningún entusiasta, ni mucho menos, del denominado género fantástico y gótico, salvo honrosas excepciones, sin embargo me ha sorprendido y, lo más importante, he llegado a embriagarme con esta narración. Son las múltiples caras lo primero que deslumbra esta novela trufada de cuentos. Para comentar esta obra fantástica, y para contrarrestar este término, intentaré “racionalizar” las múltiples facetas del texto basándome en conceptos filosóficos y geométricos, metafóricamente
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Kevin
Really fantastic book. 18th-century Spain in a region that's generally avoided and feared by locals, characters keep waking up beneath the gallows where two notorious bandit brothers were recently hanged, generally after weird encounters with a pair of strange figures, in the case of the protagonist, two beautiful women who claim to be his cousins, promise him riches and try to convert him to Islam. The structure of the book is a large part of what makes it fun. The narrator, recounting his adve ...more
Taksya
E' del 1800 e si sente.
La struttura è a scatole cinesi, qualcuno racconta qualcosa che ha qualcuno come protagonista e che racconta qualcosa che ha qualcuno come protagonista che... ecc... ecc... C'è lo spauracchio del Medio Oriente, con un'apparenza da mille e una notte (giovani discinte e amoreggianti). Ci sono diavoli e demonesse varie, ci sono fantasmi e ci sono ebrei (più o meno erranti), ci sono posseduti e gentiluomini che combattono e duellano per un nonnulla... Il tutto incastrato e avv
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Tom
Russian dolls in Chinese boxes. A proto-post-modern gothic picaresque satirical Bildungsroman featuring stories within stories within stories (within stories...), all of them immensely entertaining; populated with ghosts, bandits, succubi, Cabalists, Gypsies, crypto-Muslims, and the Spanish Inquisition (I'll bet you didn't expect them). Wild, weird, way ahead of its time.
Dmitry
Jul 25, 2007 Dmitry rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fan of horror, adventure or sci-fi, Borges or Calvino.
Oh what a book this is. Two hundred years old, it could've been written yesterday. Imagine a "Canterbury Tales" or "Decameron" where the stories are a mix of supernatural horror and swashbuckling adventure, each satisfying on its own, but added together, telling an intricate hidden plot. Unprecedented and unsurpassed.
Diarmid
'The Manuscript Found in Saragossa' was written a couple of hundred years ago by a Polish traveller and soldier named Jan Potocki, one of those authors whose life seems to have been as colourful as his writing. The overarching narrative is of a young Walloon officer travelling through Spain in 1739 and waylaid along his route by two mysterious sisters, who may or may not be real. Having been held up he then encounters a range of characters who tell him their stories, often with other stories con ...more
Joanna
Idealna książka na jesienne wieczory, pewnie dlatego jej lekturze poświęciłam tyle czasu, bo jak wiadomo w Polsce ta pora roku pojawia się szybciej niż w hiszpańskich górach. Smaczny kąsek, zupełnie nie czuć, ze ma prawie 200 lat
Luis
Un brillante predecesor de la novela romántica, con historias fantásticas que se entrecruzan sin por ello romper nunca el conjunto ni hacer perder la trama. No es que sea un libro desconocido, pero debería ser más famoso, en mi opinión.
Sarah
Jan 09, 2008 Sarah is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Gypsies, criminals, stories within stories, automatons, ghosts, celestial visions, not-so-celestial visions, love, revenge, and a special guest appearance by the Wandering Jew- what's not to love?
David Hambling

A bizarre, colourful, sprawling epic of stories within stories within stories that start to match up with some of the other stories. This Russian-doll structure can be tricky to follow -- something one of the characters notes during the telling -- but it's a very rewarding read.

It's astonishingly modern (why, there's even a giant Islamic world-domination conspiracy in there) while being very much of its time. The effect of themes repeated over and over in different ways makes it almost symphonic
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Joseph
Count Jan Potocki’s The Manuscript Found in Saragossa has somewhat of a cult following amongst fans of Gothic fiction. It consists of a collection of supernatural tales linked together by a complex series of frame stories, as in a nightmarish hall of mirrors. It has been described as a black Decameron – an apt description, considering that practically all Gothic tropes are represented, from ghosts to vampires, secret societies to violent bandits, underground passages to haunted castles. A bonus ...more
Ashley
Finally. Finished. With. This. Book!

And, honestly, after forcing myself to binge read through the last 300 pages or so over the past week or two, I didn't dislike it as much as I did toward the middle, when I abandoned it for most of the year.

This isn't an easy book. It's a Russian (or should we say Spanish) nesting doll of stories within stories within stories -- and at more than one point even the characters make fun of this aspect -- which made it kind of hard to follow at times. But each sma
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Jan Potocki was born into the Potocki family, an aristocratic family, that owned vast estates in Poland. He was educated in Geneva and Lausanne, served twice in the Polish Army as a captain of engineers, and spent some time on a galley as a novice Knight of Malta. He was probably a Freemason and had a strong interest in the occult.
Potocki's colorful life took him across Europe, Asia and North Afri
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More about Jan Potocki...
Hafız'ın Yolculuğu Manuscrito Encontrado em Saragoça, vol.2 Manuscrito Encontrado em Saragoça, vol.1 Tales from the Saragossa Manuscript (Dedalus European Classics) The New Decameron: More Tales from the Saragossa Manuscript

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“It is not science which leads to unbelief but rather ignorance. The ignorant man thinks he understands something provided that he sees it every day. The natural philosopher walks amid enigmas, always striving to understand and always half-understanding. He learns to believe what he does not understand, and that is a step on the road to faith.” 4 likes
“Nature is infinitely rich and diverse in her ways. She can be seen to break her most unchanging laws. She has made self-interest the motive of all human action, but in the great host of men she produces ones who are strangely constituted, in whom selfishness is scarcely perceptible because they do not place their affections in themselves. Some are passionate about the sciences, others about the public good. They are as attached to the discoveries of others as if they themselves had made them, or to the institutions of public welfare and the state as if they derived benefit from them. This habit of not thinking of themselves influences the whole course of their lives. They don't know how to use other men for their profit. Fortune offers them opportunities which they do not think of taking up.
In nearly all men the self is almost never inactive. You will detect their self-interest in nearly all the advice they give you, in the services they do for you, in the contacts they make, in the friendships they form. They are deeply attached to the things which affect their interests however remotely, and are indifferent to all others. When they encounter a man who is indifferent to personal interest they cannot understand him. They suspect him of hidden motives, of affectation, or of insanity. They cast him from their bosom, revile him.”
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