Black Balloon Publishing tweeted asking if one was seeking haunting writers to read this fall, so, I was curious as to whom they suggested and followed the link. They recommended South American writer, Horacio Quiroga. The article did a nice job of introducing readers to this talented, but not well-known, author, his influences and tragic ridden back story.
As it turns out, I have actually read a collection of his short stories. One that included both “The Feather Pillow” and “The Decapitated Chicken.” Thanks to an English professor who was keen on introducing students to Latin American writers, we were required to read and discuss “The Decapitated Chicken.” A haunting tale, and to this day one of my Quiroga favorites. I was fortunate enough to find a collection of Quiroga’s stories, months later, at a second-hand book store and seized the opportunity to read more of his writing. My collection included paired illustrations, but none as remarkable as the Rene Magritte pairing, as mentioned in the article. I often wonder what it would be like to read his works in Spanish. What sort of key elements to his method of story telling lose some of its punch, if any, in translation? Since I understand some words in other languages mean very specific things, which may have no real English counterpart. Perhaps someday I will, but realize the chances are slim, as my Spanish comprehension is nowhere near the level of my French.
I don’t usually think about reading more horror and chilling tales around the Halloween season, I watch films instead. However, I think this year I will change things up and read at least a handful of short stories, and revisit one or two of Quiroga’s. Suffice to say, I agree with Black Balloon Pub’s suggestion and would encourage anyone that wants something a little different, a little chilling and a good story to give Quiroga a read during this season and any others.