30 April 2010, 21.05 CET
Tonight is Walpurgisnacht, and these illustrations are from Gustav Meyrink’s Walpurgisnacht. The Times reviewed it thusly:
It is 1917. Europe is torn apart by war, Russia in the grip of revolution, the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the brink of collapse. It is Walpurgisnacht, springtime pagan festival of unbridled desire. In this volcanic atmosphere, in a Prague of splendor and decay, the rabble prepare to storm the hilltop castle, and Dr Thaddaeus Halberd, once the court physician, mourns his lost youth. Phantasmagorical prose, energetically translated, marvelously evokes past and present, personal and political, a devastated world.
Yes, it has been one of those weeks.