Monday, July 19, 2010


The Death of Olivier Becaille by Emil Zola for Summer in Paris

Emil Zola (1840- 1902)

One time in university, I woke up in the night, sort of. It felt like only my brain woke up, but my body was still asleep. I couldn't move, or talk, and it really freaked me out. I ended up just falling back asleep cause what else could I do? Eventually I discovered it is called sleep paralysis and it isn't that uncommon, although no one I explained it to recognized it and it only happened that one time.

The short story, The Death of Olivier Becaille (read on here on dailylit) might be an example of sleep paralysis, or something more serious.The narrator is the guy who died, but why can he still be thinking? It's quite a creepy little story as my introduction to Zola. Olivier describes all the events of his death - his wife's reaction, the doctor coming, the funeral, even his internment. The reader is left wondering - is he really dead and this is his journey into the beyond, or is he being buried alive? Either way, it's a great short story that has the reader hanging on to find out what is going on. I'm off to find another short story by Zola to read for Summer in Paris.