Ondina o la ira del fuego
Novel , 2017
After watching the theatre where they were performing his opera, Ondina, burn and collapse into a pile of ashes, writer E.T.A. Hoffmann brings the entire company together for a sumptuous dinner to celebrate the fact that everyone has survived the disaster. Hoffmann actually suspects that the fire was intentional, which is why he urges his dinner guests to drink and take turns telling stories, confident that their stories will help him discover the arsonist’s identity.
Among the guests’ stories, which overflow with imagination and romance, we encounter a robot doll indistinguishable from its human copy, a Napoleonic soldier brought back to life by a melody, the fearsome and immortal Countess of Báthory, a talentless pianist who sells his soul to the devil for the audience’s applause, and a woman – Botticelli’s muse – who abandons her husband to follow an angel she’s fallen in love with.