Title: The Terror
Date Read: 22 July 2009
Available Online?: YES.
Briefly: The narrator has a strong compulsion to be married, not for love or companionship, but out of fear of being on his own and having no one of sound reasoning to reassure him during increasing bouts of frightful paranoia, during which time he experiences an overbearing sense that someone is the room with him (but knowing fine well that no one is) .
Afterthoughts: Written at a time when Maupassant is on the fringes of his mental breakdown, this is rather a chilling story, made even more so with the knowledge of what was happening to him in real life. With a story that more than equals any tale of terror that has come from the pen of Poe, this story will undoubtedly send a shiver down your spine. It’s a just a shame that Maupassant didn’t compose it under more amiable conditions.
Notable Quote: “I wish to be able to awaken somebody by my side, so that I may be able to ask some sudden question, a stupid question even, if I feel inclined, so that I may hear a human voice, and feel that there is some waking soul close to me, some one whose reason is at work; so that when I hastily light the candle I may see some human face by my side–because–because –I am ashamed to confess it–because I am afraid of being alone..”
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.