The Eye of Purgatory
THE EYE OF PURGATORY
by Jacques Spitz
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Juan Miguel Aguilera
"I am seeing myself on the very day on which, in due course, my face, passing from life to death, will undergo an accelerated cycle of transformations. Yes, it's my death-throes that I'm witnessing-death-throes whose spectacle is presented to me in the midst of life, in full health…"
In The Experiment of Dr. Mops (1939), a man's vision is modified so that he can peer into the future at an accelerated rate, giving his entourage foreknowledge of events yet to come. Can the future be changed? And what will the subject see after his own death?
The unhappy protagonist of The Eye Of Purgatory (1945) sees not the real future but an increasingly aging present, where death and decay became overpowering sights. This dark, introspective novel is a powerful reflection of the notion of time and aging, and is unique in the annals of science fiction.
Jacques Spitz (1896-1963) was a grandmaster of French science fiction who penned eight groundbreaking novels between 1935 and 1945, becoming the worthy successor of Maurice Renard and J.-H. Rosny Aîné, and heralding luminaries of the 1950s and 1960s such as René Barjavel, Jacques Sternberg and Pierre Boulle. In his fiction, Spitz used realistic, scientific details, his own wild and surrealistic imagination and pessimistic view of humanity,to craft tragicomic satires on a "cosmic" scale. His concerns anticipated the so-called "New Wave" and writers like J. G. Ballard and Thomas Disch by 30 years.
Introduction by Jean-Marc Lofficier
Dr. Mops' Experiment [L'Experience du Dr. Mops] (1939)
The Eye of Purgatory [L'Oeil du Purgatoire] (1945)