"The Human Chair" by Edogawa Rampo

Every October I like to celebrate Halloween by reading something "spooky." This year I decided to read some short stories. The first one being a Japanese story called "The Human Chair," by Edogawa Rampo.
But before I start talking about the story, I want to say a few words about Edogawa Rampo. That isn't his real first name - it's a pen name. Try saying it out loud a few times. "Ed-o-ga-wa Ram-po." Does it sound a little familiar? Like, "Edgar Allen Poe," perhaps? They aren't the same person at all, but oddly enough Edogawa Rampo is more popular in Japan than Edgar Allen Poe is. In fact, most Japanese would never even think to confuse the two.
Now, about the story. I think it was a good idea for me to read short fiction rather than a long novel. Horror seems to work better in this format. "The Human Chair," is basically about a chair with a man living inside. He's hideously ugly and shy, but an amazing craftsman. So he builds himself a chair that he will fit into and whoever would sit upon it will never be any wiser. He basically gets his kicks when women sit on him (eerr...) It is in fact the only time any woman has ever been so close to him, and so naturally he falls in love with every single one. So this story, summed up very quickly, is about a repulsive man who has sex with unassuming women through a chair. Though we are never told out right that he has sexual encounters with them, it's pretty safe to assume. ...Then the story eventually ends with the biggest cock-block the world over.
Okay, as someone who doesn't especially like reading horror since I'm always so emotionally detached from what I'm reading, I have to say this story was creepy. But it's another perfect example what I mean when I say horror can be so absurd it's hard to take seriously.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts by Feast of Poetry & Drink of Prose. All rights reserved.
Blog design by Labina Kirby.