(From the publisher):
A lost classic of America's neglected German-language literary tradition, The Mysteries of New Orleans
by Baron Ludwig von Reizenstein first appeared as a serial in the Louisiana Staats-Zeitung
, a New Orleans German-language newspaper, between 1854 and 1855. Inspired by the gothic "urban mysteries" serialized in France and Germany during this period, Reizenstein crafted a daring occult novel that stages a frontal assault on the ethos of the antebellum South. His plot imagines the coming of a bloody, retributive justice at the hands of Hiram the Freemason - a nightmarish, 200-year-old, proto-Nietzschean superman - for the sin of slavery. Heralded by the birth of a black messiah, the son of a mulatto prostitute and a decadent German aristocrat, this coming revolution is depicted in frankly apocalyptic terms.
Yet, Reizenstein was equally concerned with setting and characters, from the mundane to the fantastic. The book is saturated with the atmosphere of nineteenth-century New Orleans, the amorous exploits of its main characters uncannily resembling those of New Orleans' leading citizens. Also of note is the author's progressively matter-of-fact portrait of the lesbian romance between his novel's only sympathetic characters, Claudine and Orleana.
Original title: Die Geheimnisse von New Orleans
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Suspense