“The Horla” (“Le Horla”) is an 1887 short horror story written in the style of a journal by French writer Guy de Maupassant, after an initial, much shorter version published in the newspaper Gil Blas, October 26, 1886. American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, in his survey “Supernatural Horror in Literature” (1927), provides an interpretation of the story: The story has been cited as an inspiration for Lovecraft’s own “The Call of Cthulhu”, which also features an extraterrestrial being who influences minds and who is destined to conquer humanity. The word horla itself is not French, and is a neologism. Charlotte Mandell, who has translated “The Horla” for publisher Melville House, suggests in an afterword that the word “horla” is a portmanteau of the French words hors (“outside”), and là (“there”) and that “le horla” sounds like “the Outsider, the outer, the one Out There,” and can be transliterally interpreted as “the ‘what’s out there'”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.