The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

127 pages

English language

Published May 14, 1994

ISBN:
978-0-345-35490-7
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Goodreads:
129327

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4 stars (24 reviews)

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is a short horror novel (51,500 words) by American writer H. P. Lovecraft, written in early 1927, but not published during the author's lifetime. Set in Lovecraft's hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, it was first published (in abridged form) in the May and July issues of Weird Tales in 1941; the first complete publication was in Arkham House's Beyond the Wall of Sleep collection (1943). It is included in the Library of America volume of Lovecraft's work. The novel, set in 1928, describes how Charles Dexter Ward becomes obsessed with his distant ancestor, Joseph Curwen, an alleged wizard with unsavory habits. Ward physically resembles Curwen, and attempts to duplicate his ancestor's Qabalistic and alchemical feats. He eventually uses this knowledge to physically resurrect Curwen. Ward's doctor, Marinus Bicknell Willett, investigates Ward's activities and is horrified by what he finds.

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Review of "L'affaire Charles Dexter Ward" on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

L’affaire Charles Dexter Ward est un très court roman qui nous relate la fascination d’un jeune étudiant pour un de ses ancêtres à la sinistre réputation. Au fil de son enquête et de ses découvertes, le jeune Ward va sombrer peu à peu dans un obsession qui va bouleverser sa vie sociale et familiale. La famille Ward m’a paru plus que lente à réagir, car Lovecraft nous décrit tout de même un homme qui devient plus ou moins fou à lier. L’incompréhension des parents est assez amusante, mais de plus en plus crispante face au comportement hors norme de leur fils. Totalement habité par l’intérêt qu’il porte à son aïeul, le jeune homme en vient à lui ressembler étrangement.

Le récit est vite très captivant, et malgré de nombreuses répétitions et maladresses on se prend vite à l’histoire. L’intérêt va grandissant et l’angoisse latente ne fait que se renforcer au …

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