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by John-Antoine Nau
adapted by Michael Shreve
cover by Nick Tripiciano
I was sure that a terribly hostile being haunted me, an Enemy Force, a cruel being that had settled in me, a dreadful being that tortured me to force me to roar and writhe around like someone possessed… "Doctor! Save me! I'm inhabited like a wormy fruit!"
Enemy Force (1903) is a ground-breaking, surrealistic novel about a poet who is locked in a lunatic asylum and who mysteriously becomes possessed by an "Enemy Force," possibly an alien being from a hellish planet orbiting the star Aldebaran. Both tragic and satirical, emotional and visionary, it is considered by many scholars to be a forgotten masterpiece of early science fiction.
John-Antoine Nau (1860-1918) was himself an eccentric French poet and writer who led a marginal existence and whose works remained mostly unpublished until long after his death.
FIRST WINNER OF THE PRESTIGIOUS LITERARY GONCOURT AWARD (1903).
“The best [novel] that we ever crowned.” Joris-Karl Huysmans.
Michael Shreve is a writer and translator currently living in Paris. His credits include translations of Jacques Barberi, André Laurie and Marcel Schwob.
Introduction by Michael Shreve.
Enemy Force [La Force Ennemie] (1903)