A real or imagined ailment?

In the BMJ (subscription required), Dalrymple presents Le Horla, Guy de Maupassant’s creepy-sounding story of a haunted man.

The someone who possesses him is a superior being brought about by evolution (Maupassant had also read Darwin): “A new being! Why not? It must surely come. Why should we be the last? The new being will enslave man as man has enslaved the animals.” Is it not ironic to think of the brain of the author of this story being eaten away by an enemy that was invisible to him?

3 thoughts on “A real or imagined ailment?

  1. Jackson

    A new being!

    “The “any fool” of the last sentence is a subtle form of intellectual snobbery and flattery, intended to suck the reader into the charmed circle of the sophisticated, disabused intellectual elite, the knowing and the cognoscenti who have moved beyond moral judgment and principles, who are not deceived by mere appearances, do not condemn according to outmoded ways of thought, and are therefore unmoved by such trifling (and oppressive) considerations as public decency.”


    I wonder if I’ve been a ‘new being’ all this time… are these new beings absurdly modest by any chance?


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