" ("Le Horla
") is an 1887
story written in the style of a journal by French
writer Guy de Maupassant
H. P. Lovecraft, in his survey "Supernatural Horror in Literature", praises "The Horla":
"Relating the advent in France of an invisible being who lives on water and milk, sways the minds of others, and seems to be the vanguard of a horde of extra-terrestrial organisms arrived on earth to subjugate and overwhelm mankind, this tense narrative is perhaps without peer in its particular department."
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.
In the form of a journal, the narrator conveys his troubled thoughts and feelings of anguish. All around him, he senses the presence of a being that he calls the "Horla" (probably that is Arabic Al-Roh). Throughout the novel, the main character's sanity, or rather, his feelings of alienation are put into question as the Horla progressively dominates his thoughts. The presence of the Horla becomes more and more intolerable to the protagonist, to the point that he is ready to kill either the Horla, or himself.
Many think that the author himself was insane when he wrote this novel , but it was only later in Maupassant's life that he was diagnosed with a mental illness. The seeming insanity and dementia of the protagonist contribute much to the fantastic
air that pervades the novel.