Master Zacharius, or The Clockmaker Who Lost His Soul (1854)
Intriguing fantasy of an old master clockmaker, whose skill is equaled only by his pride, who becomes unhinged when all of his masterpieces but one grind slowly to a stop. The one is kept by a hellish dwarf whose promises of immortality come at the price of the clockmaker’s daughter. Perhaps it isn’t surprising that this tale, which has as much to do with Rumplestiltskin as Faust, with a large dose of godlike science thrown in for good measure, is occasionally puzzling in its characterizations and narrative, yet the mix certainly makes for an interesting read. The last clock, which, under the dwarf’s unholy influence, no longer reveals the good Christian epigrams it was designed to do at each chiming of the hour is a highlight.
Reviewed by: Nat Hocken