Sunday, July 5, 2009

Seven Phantoms

Another peculiar title in the small, pre second world war list of Dutch language supernatural stories, is Zeven Fantomen (Seven Phantoms) by Dutch author Ben van Eijsselsteijn (1898 - 1973).

I once inspected an early edition of Gustav Meyrink's Der Golem that had belonged to Van Eijsselsteijn.

If mentioned at all these days, Zeven Fantomen is a curiosity as its contents - short stories in the Poe/Hoffman vein - are original in theme but unfortunately quite forgettable in execution. Zeven Fantomen was published in 1934 and it is chiefly remembered owing to its striking cover design and its very effective interior black and white illustrations. These were drawn by artist Hein von Essen (1886 - 1974) who was a friend of Van Eijsselsteijn.

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