Malpertuis is a gothic horror novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 by the Belgian author Jean Ray.


Malpertuis is a crumbling, ancient house where a dying warlock
The term warlock in origin means "traitor, oathbreaker".In early modern Scots, the word came to be used as the male equivalent of witch ....

 has trapped the aging gods of Olympus
Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece, located on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, about 100 kilometres away from Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city. Mount Olympus has 52 peaks. The highest peak Mytikas, meaning "nose", rises to 2,917 metres...

 inside the "skins" of ordinary Flemish
Flemish people
The Flemings or Flemish are the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Belgium, where they are mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. They are one of two principal cultural-linguistic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons...



The novel is divided into four narratives:
  1. The modern-day narrator (who remains unnamed) explains in a prologue that he stole the manuscripts that comprise the rest of the novel from the Convent of the White Penitents. In the epilogue, he locates Malpertuis, sees Eisengott and Old Mother Groulle in a tavern, enters the house, has a brief encounter with Euryale then flees.
  2. Doucedame the Elder's story of the capture of the Olympians; it has presumably been assembled by Doucedame the Younger.
  3. The diary of Jean-Jacques Grandsire (also broken into two parts) that ends when he and Bets leave Malpertuis.
  4. Father Euchere (aka Dom Misseron) of the Convent of the White Penitents, and reveals the final fates of both Jean-Jacques Grandsire and Doucedame the Younger.

Film adaptation

During 1971 the Belgian director Harry Kümel made a film adaptation of the novel, starring Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

, Susan Hampshire
Susan Hampshire
Susan Hampshire, Lady Kulukundis, OBE is an English actress, best-known for her many television and film roles.-Early life:Susan Hampshire was born in Kensington, London, the youngest of four children. She had two sisters and one brother...

 and Mathieu Carrière
Mathieu Carrière
Mathieu Carrière is a German actor.Carrière grew up in Berlin and Lübeck; he attended the Jesuit boarding school Lycée Saint-François-Xavier in Vannes, France, a school which had previously been attended by the director of Carrière's first major film, Volker Schlöndorff. In 1969 Carrière moved to...


External links

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