Mathieu Doré – Le Horla (Excerpt)


Mathieu Doré – Bachelor in economics. IE University.

Le Horla (Excerpt) by : Guy de Maupassant  (1886).


Whence do these mysterious influences come, which change our happiness into discouragement, and our self-confidence into diffidence? One might almost say that the air, the invisible air is full of unknowable Forces, whose mysterious presence we have to endure. I wake up in the best spirits, with an inclination to sing in my throat. Why? I go down by the side of the water, and suddenly, after walking a short distance, I return home wretched, as if some misfortune were awaiting me there. Why? Is it a cold shiver which, passing over my skin, has upset my nerves and given me low spirits? Is it the form of the clouds, or the color of the sky, or the color of the surrounding objects which is so changeable, which have troubled my thoughts as they passed before my eyes? Who can tell? Everything that surrounds us, everything that we see without looking at it, everything that we touch without knowing it, everything that we handle without feeling it, all that we meet without clearly distinguishing it, has a rapid, surprising and inexplicable effect upon us and upon our organs, and through them on our ideas and on our heart itself.

D’ou viennent ces influences mysterieuses qui changent en decouragement notre bonheur et notre confiance en detresse. On dirait que l’air, l’air invisible est plein d’inconnaissables Puissances, dont nous subissons les voisinages mysterieux. Je m’eveille plein de gaite, avec des envies de chanter dans la gorge.–Pourquoi?–Je descends le long de l’eau; et soudain, apres une courte promenade, je rentre desole, comme si quelque malheur m’attendait chez moi.–Pourquoi?–Est-ce un frisson de froid qui, frolant ma peau, a ebranle mes nerfs et assombri mon ame? Est-ce la forme des nuages, ou la couleur du jour, la couleur des choses, si variable, qui, passant par mes yeux, a trouble ma pensee? Sait-on? Tout ce qui nous entoure, tout ce que nous voyons sans le regarder, tout ce que nous frolons sans le connaitre, tout ce que nous touchons sans le palper, tout ce que nous rencontrons sans le distinguer, a sur nous, sur nos organes et, par eux, sur nos idees, sur notre coeur lui-meme.