By Guy de Maupassant


Man: Erik Bauersfeld
Dr. Parent: Jarion Monroe
Mme. Sable: Anni Long
Monk: Robert Elross
Servant: Pat Franklyn
Servant: Cyril Clayton

Adapted and Directed by: Erik Bauersfeld
Sound Design by: James McKee

Length: 29:24

Listen: Earshot


The story was written by De Maupassant near the end of his life during a period of melancholia and delusions. In scenes of growing madness and fantasy the hero tries to extricate himself from a being whose name, Horla, comes to him from his own inner voice. The invisible presence seems to be studying him, his captor, invading, absorbing his life and emerging as a superior other-self, who has "reached the limits of his existance." In Maupassant's view of the struggle, his charactor may be the real monster, resisting at all costs the call of betterment. The excerpt below from Louis Menand gives interesting support to this view.


Excerpt from Louis Menand's The New Yorker article,
Lionel Trilling and his Discontents

When Freud published Civilization and it's Discontents, in 1930, Trilling wrote a review dismissing the book as absurd. But the magazine he wrote it for, The New Freeman, folded, and the review never appeared. That was when Trilling was still a Marxist. After 1950, he became infatuated with Civilization and Its Discontents, and especially with Freud's notion of a death drive. The death drive is one of the most fantastic creatures in the Freudian menagerie, and Trilling took the concept exactly as Freud intended it: as naming an innate, biological resistance that people have to being made better. The death drive was designed to discredit the claim, made by renegade Freudians like Wilhelm Reich and Herbert Marcuse, that the right kind of political and economic change would do away with discontent and neurosis. Freud's argument, Trilling wrote in his last major work, Sincerity and Authenticity, may be thought to stand like a lion in the path of all hopes of achieving happiness through the radical revision of social life.


by Randy Thom

This brief sound composition composed of scratchings and other impressions put upon the surfaces of dry ice is heard and discussed by Randy Thom.

Length: 4:30



On this rare occasion that we have underspent our project budget, the National Endowment has graciously allowed BARD to afford production of the two programs listed above.