The Madness of the Day  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"The Madness of the Day" is a 14-page short story by French writer Maurice Blanchot. Originally published in French as "La Folie du Jour," in 1973, it was translated by Lydia Davis and published by Station Hill Press in 1981.

The litblog A Journey Round My Skull remarks that "Blanchot should be introduced to the Lovecraft crowd.

"Can I describe my trials? I was not able to walk, or breathe, or eat. My breath was made of stone, my body of water, and yet I was dying of thirst. One day they thrust me into the ground; the doctors covered me with mud. What work went on at the bottom of that earth! Who says it's cold? It's a bed of fire, it's a bramble bush. When I got up I could feel nothing. My sense of touch was floating six feet away from me; if anyone entered the room, I would cry out, but the knife was serenely cutting me up. Yes, I became a skeleton. At night my thinness would rise up before me to terrify me. As it came and went it insulted me, it tired me out; oh, I was certainly very tired."

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