- De Maupassant, Guy
- (1850-1893)A French writer - considered one of the fathers of the short story - who described various types of hallucination in his literary works. It is known that de Maupassant used "hallucinogens throughout his adult life, that he suffered from visual loss, migraine, and neurosyphilis (possibly complicated by stroke), and that he spent the last months of his life in a state of "delirium. It has been suggested that throughout his working life he drew on his own hallucinatory experiences for his fantastical stories. Careful analyses of his biography and literary works indicate that until the early 1880s de Maupassant experienced " hypnagogic hallucinations, " hypnopompic hallucinations, and " drug-induced hallucinations, while during his later years he also experienced "visual hallucinations, "autoscopic phenomena, and " metamorphopsias (including " prosopometamorphopsia and " macropsia). It has been suggested that the latter symptoms fulfilled the criteria of the "Alice in Wonderland syndrome. During the delirious state in which he spent the final months of his life, de Maupassant may also have experienced other types of hallucination. The import of his work for hallucinations research lies in the combination of a first-hand acquaintance with hallucinatory phenomena, and an exceptional talent for verbalizing and analyzing them. This combination places him in a league with other hallucinating intellectuals, such as Victor Kandinsky (1849-1889), Daniel Paul Schreber (1842-1911), John Thomas Perceval (1803-1876), Christoph Friedrich Nicolai (1733-1811), Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950), Fjodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), and Ludwig Staudenmaier (1865-1933).ReferencesAlvaro, L.-C. (2005). Hallucinations and pathological visual perceptions in Maupassant's fantastical short stories - A neurological approach. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 14, 100-115.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.