“The Decapitated Chicken”
“The Feather Pillow”
This story was published in the short story collection Tales of Love, Madness and Death published in 1917. This is story is one the clearest examples of Horacio Quiroga’s fascination with death, the bizarre and the macabre. It also is a story of lost love, sickness, disease and the inability of the individual to overcome the force of nature.
For an analysis of this story go this link:
This story was also published in the short story collection Tales of Love, Madness and Death. As you will see this story also contains all elements mentioned in the title of the collection.
For an analysis go to this link:
This story is a great example of Quiroga’s narrative economy. The story is short, yet it conveys a whole array of emotions, descriptions of the man’s condition and the description of nature – and the connection between both. Notice that the man is working on the land (taming nature) and yet nature surprises the man. The action is straight forward and lineal. The description of the poison through the man’s body is described in almost medical terms – another important theme for Quiroga. Pay attention to the symptoms as the venom progresses in his body. The reader “feels” the intensity of pain and his desire to live. However, in the story there is no sentimentalism – we feel it – but the outcome is inevitable. The description is realistic – full with images of life and death. Pay attention at the description of nature – the colors used to describe it in somber terms but also beautiful and majestic. The story converts a simple accident into a symbol of human expression. The man is left alone “adrift” on the river of life.
If there is a story that clearly depicts the clash between civilization and barbarism in Quiroga’s work, this is the one. This is one of my favorite stories because it directly depicts the border – a body that is one and the other or none at the same time. Enjoy this story about a tiger that became a boy. Raised as a human, mistreated by humans – misunderstood and tortured and, escaping back to the jungle. What is savage in him? What is human? What is savage in other humans? Once upon a time…
For an analysis of this story go to: https://pulpteacher.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/horacio-quirogas-juan-darien-a-dangerous-story/
-Please comment about at least two readings of Horacio Quiroga’s short stories.
What were your favorite stories.
Who are the characters.
Identify elements of horror and the bizarre.
Identify elements of man vs. nature. Identify elements of sickness and the inability of the characters to control diseases and/or their true nature.
Reflect on what do you think Quiroga is trying to linguistically tell us about his personal experience and/or the Latin American experience and/or human experience.
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