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Behind the Fourth Wall - An exhibition at AFI Silver Theatre March 8 - May 26
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New York: Brentano's, 1915. First American Edition, printed from the British sheets.

"Fantomas" was introduced to the French public in 1911, preceded by Arsène Lupin, another well-known thief. While Lupin was one of the first anti-heroes (i.e., criminal as protagonist) in the history of crime fiction, he and those who preceded him (e.g., Raffles) drew the line at murder. Fantomas had no such qualms: he gave no quarter and was loyal to no one, not even his own children. Too, his methods of murder were bizarre and often grotesque, including use of plague-infested rats, giants snakes, and rooms that fill with sand in order to drown the intended victim.

Silent film pioneer Louis Feuillade directed 5 "Fantomas" serials, all recently restored, that are regarded as masterpieces of the Silent film era. The last Feuillade serial, "Le faux magistrat" was released in 1914, and the British and American editions (both the first translations into English) were published simultaneously in 1915, by Paul and Brentano's respectively.

Feuillade was greatly influenced by the "Fantomas" anti-hero concept, and it would infuse two later and equally acclaimed serials he directed, "Les Vampires" (1915) and "Judex" (1916).

The only jacketed copy of the American edition we have ever encountered.

Slight lean, else Near Fine in a stunning, Near Fine dust jacket. The first appearance of the legendary French fictional "Fantomas" character in the United States.
[Book #125270]
Price: $7,500.00
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