In their co-authored paper, "The Horlas: Maupassant's Mirror of Self-Reflection," Edward J. Lusk and Marion Roeske present a comparative analysis of three works of Maupassant: Lettre d'un fou, Le Horla of 1886, and Le Horla of 1887. The authors argue that these works form a trilogy by which Maupassant expresses his struggle to resolve the issues that seem to haunt him during the time that he pens the Horla trilogy. This introspective search is crafted around the failure of a mirror to provide a reflected image and the assessment of the likelihood that the strange events presented in the trilogy are caused either by hallucinations or by a menacing force called Le Horla. Further, to understand the way that Maupassant has developed the story lines as his mirror of self-reflection, Lusk and Roeske examine, in detail, four aspects of Maupassant's life that provide the context for the Horlas: his struggle with syphilis, the relationship he has with Flaubert, the novel of his maternal uncle Alfred Le Poittevin called Une Promenade de Bélial and finally, the intense personal relationship of Flaubert and Alfred Le Poittevin.
Lusk, Edward J.;
and Roeske, Marion.
"The Horlas: Maupassant's Mirror of Self-Reflection."
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