Guy de Maupassant, “The Terror”

365466A man gets married so he doesn’t have to spend his nights alone.

(from The Dark Side: Tales of Terror and the Supernatural)

It began last year, in a very strange manner on a damp autumn evening. When my servant had left the room, after I had dined, I asked myself what I was going to do. I walked up and down my room for some time, feeling tired without any reason for it, unable to work and even without energy to read…

Henry-Rene-Albert-Guy de Maupassant, often credited with being the originator of the commercial literary short story, was born on August 5, 1850 in France. He was super prolific. He attempted to kill himself in 1892 and died in Paris the following year. I include the bit about attempting suicide because writers collect information like this. Why do we love to hear about those that killed themselves? Or maybe it’s just me.

Anyhow, this is the first story by Guy de Maupassant that I have ever read, or remember reading, and it feels very modern. It’s creepy and ghostly but also true-to-life. The writing is lovely. I’m not going to say any more about it because it really is just about a man who cannot be alone. Haven’t you ever felt like this?

You should listen to it here. I love this podcast: Bedtime Stories: Classic Tales for Sleepy Grownups by Parker Leventer. She used to do these terrible voices but someone must have told her to stop, and, thankfully, she did.

2 thoughts on “Guy de Maupassant, “The Terror”

  1. Octavio Solis

    Mary, I’m so pleased you’ve discovered him. I read a collection of his short fiction “A Parisian Affair and Other Stories” when I went to Paris last year and was taken in by his sad moving tales of love and longing. Really haunting. I don’t know this one, but I’ll give it a listen. Thank you for recommending it.


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