Tag Archives: Maurice Level

The Last Breath

Night and Silence  by Maurice Level (1932)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   August 26, 2014

 

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There is something frightening and yet beautiful in the last breath a person takes before leaving this world. If you’ve ever witnessed that moment of a loved one, there’s no forgetting it, ever.

 

images-1In Night and Silence we have a story of three people: an old crippled woman and her two brothers: one a deaf-mute and the other blind. The literary symbolism here is captivating and poignant.

The three siblings were known to be inseparable, united in deep affection and dependency, and living in a hovel—presumably in the streets of France. One night, the sister dies peacefully in the arms of her brothers. She dies without a single cry as the deaf-mute looks on and the blind brother clasps her hand inside his.

“Without a sound she passes into eternal silence.”

She is placed inside her coffin in their small hovel. The brothers light candles, pray for her, and kiss her goodbye. When one sees without hearing, or hears without seeing, is illusion created? Or something else?

 

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Author Maurice Level is known for his fiction termed  conte cruel, emotional and gruesome tales. He is certainly a forgotten and obscure writer these days. Night and Silence appeared in Weird Tales in 1932. More of his short stories are on Amazon.51YrUctG26L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Night and Silence at Gutenberg Australia.net

(There are three of Level’s short stories here: A Last Kiss; Night and Silence; A Madman. Scroll down half way to find Night and Silence. I can also recommend the other two stories (flash fiction length), especially The Last Kiss, a rather savage love story.

 

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