HOW LOVE CAME TO PROFESSOR GUILDEA by Robert Hichens
“‘That’s just it,’ he said, ‘now we come to it. I’m not imaginative, as you know.’
‘You certainly are not.’”
Every time I read this classic horror story over the years, I actually find it even more disturbing than upon the previous reading! It is as if it cajoles me cloyingly to soak in more and more of its meaning each time I leave, perhaps foolhardily, my door open to it…. the story of a parallel dichotomy or negative symbiosis or even attempted synergy … between a priest and a sceptic professor, both celibate, and the human qualities you would normally associate with each of them, of dichotomies such as friendship and coldness, faith and realism, pragmatic life and an imagination that becomes the ‘thing’ in the Playing With Fire by Conan Doyle, a force potentially switching their roles, as metaphorised in a ‘love affair’ channelled by an imitative parrot, a channelling of the amorphous, idiotic, fawning, arguably feminine spirit that cross-fertilises the two men, Pitting them against each other as well as blending them? The shape on the bench in the park and its manners as seen across from where the door is left open is the most Aickman-like monument or memorial of this story’s haunting. And seeing that the next story is by my favourite author, I can now only now try to recall, based on memory, her story The Parrot and, although quite different, its now dawning on me of another possible theme of obsessive attempts at symbiosis?
That picture does not seem to match my reading of the work.
The context of the above review: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/the-2nd-fontana-book-of-great-ghost-stories/