The First Graphic Novel - 1783
'Lenardo and Blandine'
Joseph Franz von Goez
(pronounced 'yozeff frunts fon goats/guts')
(translation by Andy Bleck, Nov. 2007)
From afar she hears a churchtower strike 12 midnight.
God, the last stroke over, and you're still not in my arms.
And night getting worse and worse.
The garden like a churchyard!
Don't I hear a death knell?
Whoever you are, poor fellow! It's a dying hour for you. To me as well, it almost seems.
Husband, husband! Can't you hear my fearful calling?
Ever since my mother's death no night has been like this.
God, there's fire in the sky.
From afar the thunder follows.
Dead and destruction above him!
Dismay is gripping me.
God save my husband.
I want to search for him, must find him.
A man covered by gauze brings a bowl on which lies a blooody, broken ring.
Trembling she reaches for it.
And with a cry: Blood - she let's it fall on the table.
A second man has brought a sealed urn.
The third brings a sealed letter.
After having broken the seal..
She reads in a broken voice: The most depraved of your kind, marry again and follow the damned one.
Overtaken by fright, she pauses.
Now she reads on:
He is off to eternity, and as a souvenir sends you his heart.
After emitting these last words with a terrified cry..
she jumps up..
..breaks down and looses conscience.
Repeatedly she tries to get up, and looks around her with wild gestures.
Morning already, and so much light and jubilation all around her..
My marriage day..