In the decade between 1880 and 1890 Guy de Maupassant published over 300 short stories in a variety of modes, including the supernatural legend, the surprise-ending tale, and the realistic story. He also contributed to the sophistication of the horror story by pushing it even further than Edgar Allan Poe into the modern mode of psychological obsession and madness.
In Am I Insane? Maupassant's focus is on how an obsession becomes so powerful that it is translated into murderous action. The narrator loves a certain woman to madness. However, he also hates her passionately, he intensely desires both to possess her and to kill her. The madness here is similar to the meaningful madness in many Poe stories; there is some basis for the narrator's jealous obsession, both figuratively in the powerful male symbolism of the horse and literally in the narcissism and autoeroticism that the woman’s daily rides suggest.
Public Domain (P)2014 Larry Oliver
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