In considering these two quotes:
“The noise of the passing carriages begins to sound like thunder, in the stench of the street I detect thousands of different smells, while the lights of the eating-house and the street-lamps fill my eyes with blinding flashes of lightning. All my senses are at a fever pitch and abnormally receptive.”
—Oysters, Anton Chekhov
“He suffered much from a morbid acuteness of the senses; the most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odours of all flowers were oppressive; his eyes were tortured by even a faint light; and there were but peculiar sounds, and these from stringed instruments, which did not inspire him with horror. ”
—The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe
What’s a man to think?
This entry is part of Jack Rusher’s archive, originally published May 26th, 2003, in New York.