Wednesday, January 03, 2007

On Stuff I'm Reading (What, Again!!??)

So, I just re-read Maupassant's 'Le Horla.' I freakin' love that story. Maupassant is obsessed with the invisible. He's always talking about invisible things that exist, powerful things like electricity and wind and all that sort of stuff. He usually uses those examples to set up this question: if we don't see those things yet they exist, aren't there other things out there that we don't see but that also exist? Ohhhh, I'm scared! Stuff like ghosts and monsters and everything. I'm gonna eat some meow mix to calm myself because that's too scary to think about.

Maupassant also thinks our senses are very weak so he's always going on and on about all the stuff we can't see or hear or even comprehend because our senses are too weak. For example, he mentions how weak our sense of smell is, say, in comparison to a dog's sense of smell. Whatever, I still think I'm cooler than a dog. Maupassant just wants to make me feel worthless... I think he was a very unhappy person, he did go mental in the end. He also always talks about how the senses we do have cannot perceive the very large and the very small. He wasn't around for Quantum Mechanics, poor guy, maybe things would've made a lot more sense, well, I dunno, maybe they would've made less sense?

I really dig his fascination with illness (another 'invisible' thing). I wrote about illness and the invisible a while back in my blog, and I wasn't reading Maupassant at the time, but I was thinking along similar lines. I wasn't specifically concerned with the supernatural, I was just fascinated by the idea that lots of 'invisible' things play a huge role in our life, not only illness, but things like gravity. Weird you know, all these invisible forces and things that exist...

I'd read Maupassant years ago, but his thinking and writing really didn't captivate me all that much. Since I've had to struggle with this illness, I've really come to appreciate his thinking a lot more. In the story of 'Le Horla,' the character becomes haunted by an invisible creature, the creature is sort of like a vampire and sucks your soul out and takes control of your body. I honestly think this creature is somewhat symbolic of illness, there are a couple references in the story to boats coming from Brazil (possibly with people carrying the disease that causes the insanity of the main character). There's also continual references to the main character's coachman being very sick and being unable to sleep due to some unmentioned illness. I also know Maupassant struggled with illness in his life (syphilis), so a lot his stories tend to deal with disease and illness, and an assortment of themes that goes along with those things.

I read the 'Masque of the Red Death' by Poe a while back, and there seems to be a lot of similarities between Poe's story and 'Le Horla.' Some similarities I can think of include the idea of seclusion, being trapped, an inability to escape, the fear of illness, fear of the unknown and the invisible, attempts to avoid reality...

15 comments:

Bice said...

'Le Horla,'... isn't that French for the Whore?

the creature is sort of like a vampire and sucks your soul out and takes control of your body.... whereas this sounds like a sports addiction to me.

Babybull40 said...

Meow meow meow.. I gotta get me some kibbles and bits.. I have never heard of this author. It sounds interesting though..

Mariana said...

When I was in school a friend and me wrote a story about a kid whose father was a scientist; so one day the kid starts playing around with his father's scientific stuff, and comes up with a potion that enables him to see things that are there, only invisible to the naked eye. In his case it was a civilization of aliens, existing side by side with us on the same planet. The kid makes friends with an alien, but then the potion wears off and he hadn't written down the formula. Big mistake, as his father could have told him.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

I've never heard of him before, but i think I might just give him a try...once I get through the Russians anyway.

Lauren Mitchell said...

If you like "invisibility" you should read Rilke's poems, especially the Duino Elegies. Rilke had a fascination with the invisible that can only be described as a spiritual obsession. I think you'd really dig him.

...Oh, and if you do want to read him, pick up the Mitchell translation. It's the best.

WAT said...

You're considering eating Meow Mix? And you're cooler than a dog? AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

Those are just some funny lines.

Sebastien said...

Bice: HAha, it should be! Awww, come on, taking cheap shots at sports... you know I now gotta go over to your site and spam you with tons of sports comments!

Babybull: Oh yes, I think you would like! Doesn't everybody love Meow Mix?

Mariana: That story sounds really cool, any idea who wrote it?

Silverneurotic: Oh boy, the Russians... prepare to be depressed... hehe, just kidding, guess it depends what writers you plan on reading.

Lauren: Oh yeah, I read some Rilke for a class, not his poems though. He's definitely another writer I should try and read now, don't think I connected with his stuff all those years ago. Thanks for the recommendation!

WAT: Considering? No. I already did. Freakin' delicious. Haha, I'm happy I made you laugh!!!!

Mariana said...

It was me and a friend of mine in school who wrote it.

Sebastien said...

Oh, haha sorry. I missed that. Right in the beginning...

Sonja said...

You've been having quite a run on 25 Peeps! Mine came up on Christmas when people aren't blogging too much. But I'll try again!!

Sebastien said...

Haha, yeah do it again! We're gonna take over the world... well, I hope.

Babs said...

Now that sounds like a book I would enjoy. I would love to be invisible. How fun would that be to mess with people? muwhahahaha Except I wouldn't make them sick.
Hope you're feeling better since Tuesday's post. I'm behind on blog reading again. Always behind.

Sebastien said...

Babs: You're so evil, I dig that! Haha, I know what you're saying with getting behind. Just chill out with your squirrel friend and take it easy!

anastasia said...

I downloaded this one last week after reading your post, and I'll read it as soon as I return from interstate, but also, thanks for stopping by my little corner, but more importantly, you're quite intrepid, you don't let life's 'stuff' get you down, and I'm really looking forward to catching up (cos I'm new) and reading more of your thoughts.

A

Sebastien said...

Hey, thanks Anastasia!!! I've really been digging your blog, your posts and stories are really well written, and the last one you posted was very moving, very intimate.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy that story, I have a feeling you will!