Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Villa Kerylos and the 'Villa of Delirium' by Adrien Goetz

The Cote D'Azur conjures up all sorts of romantic images, and one of the most romantic (and intellectual) houses dotting the coast is the Villa Kerylos
Kerylos was the brainchild of wealthy archaeologist Theodore Reinach and designed for him in 1902 by architect Emmanuel Pontremoli, a prominent professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.  Designed as an updated ancient Greek palace, the house was complete with ancient looking frescoes and modern conveniences disguised behind antique forms. As most readers of this blog know all about the Villa Kerylos already I'll leave it at that.
 By Christophe Recoura -, CC BY-SA 3.0
A wonderful new book, 'Villa of Delirium',  has just been translated into English from the original French by award winning author (and member of the prestigious Institut de France)  Adrien Goetz,  and is soon to be released by New Vessel Press.  Historical fiction, the book traces the building and history of the villa through the eyes of a favored servant.  The novel really brings the house and early 20th century history alive with a few salacious details.
 By culturespaces/christophe Recoura -, CC BY-SA 3.0
The New Vessel Press offers a lot of translated European fiction and is a publisher to check out for sure.  This book will be released May 5, 2020 and information about it on their website HERE.
I've never been to the Villa Kerylos (or even to the French Riviera for that matter) but this book transported me there in a way beyond any pictures I've ever seen of the house.  I found myself constantly googling to see if items in the book were true or fiction (most were true!). Check out this book (and author!) for yourself is my highest recommendation. 
All images from Wikipedia article on the Villa Kerylos