Corto Maltese enters the crossroads of magic and the occult, astrology and history, religion and mythology in the first English-language translation of Pratt’s award-winning book.
As he did with his other works, Hugo Pratt carried out extensive research for this surreal, magical story. In this case, delving into Swiss history and mythology, even going so far as to consult the French alchemist André Malby, who had produced a serious study on the occult in Switzerland.
When Corto Maltese accompanies his old friend Professor Steiner (who’s on his way to a secret gathering of alchemists) to pay a visit to the writer Hermann Hesse, he drinks from the source of the Alchemic Rose—the Secret Rose—and becomes immersed in a shifting, dreamlike adventure involving the quest for the Holy Grail, the Devil, the Sandman, and Death, as well as the knight Klingsor (a familiar character from the epic poem Parzifal, Wagner’s opera Parsifal, and a novel by Hesse).
This complexly plotted graphic novel is among Hugo Pratt’s most philosophical—and at times amusing—ruminations on the imagination.