Devouring De Maupassant: A Tress of Hair

Title: A Tress of Hair
Date Read: 30 January 2012
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: A lover of past times and antiques, discovers a hidden tress of hair in a piece of seventeenth-century furniture. He begins to become unhealthily obsessed with the object, to the point where he slowly descends into madness.
Afterthoughts: I adore this story, partly because it’s a beautiful mediation on a love for treasured historical objects (I kept thinking about my typewriters, but then I would wouldn’t I? :)), but also because it’s a dramatic and powerful tale, much in the same vein as The Horla. It’s a tale that evolves from an appreciation of material objects to something a lot more disturbing, and for that reason it’s a story that’s unlikely to be forgotten once read. Yes folks, another wholly memorable tale from the pen-wielding master. What a genius!
Notable Quote: “Oh, I am sorry for those who do not know the honeymoon of the collector with the antique he has just purchased. One looks at it tenderly and passes one’s hand over it as if it were human flesh; one comes back to it every moment, one is always thinking of it, wherever ore goes, whatever one does. The dear recollection of it pursues you in the street, in society, everywhere; and when you return home at night, before taking off your gloves or your hat; you go and look at it with the tenderness of a lover.

Rating: ★★★★☆

*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn’t bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).