Guy de Maupassant, The Horla
Inkjet on watercolour paper
85 x 56 cms
Guy de Maupassant's 1887 short story about demonic possession, The Horla, is a classic of ghost and horror fiction. Horror is not explicit in the story, the major theme is the psychological unravelling of the victim and the sinister invisibility of his tormentor.
The Horla's victim was portrayed as affluent and the owner of a fine house, but in this re-imagination I preferred him to be the pudgy, underpants clad denizen of a cheaply furnished, motel-like room bathed in the sickly tones of the street lighting. The muscular incubus was rendered with a grey, matt, glassy material to suggest a malevolent, incorporeal presence intent on taking advantage of his victim's comatose state.
The full text of The Horla: Project Gutenberg