A man is going from Rome to a villa in the country to visit his mistress, and a soldier offers to accompany him. They stop to rest at the cemetery outside the city, and the soldier does something that terrifies his companion: he takes off his clothes and turns into a wolf. The man runs as fast as he can to the villa and finds that a wolf has ravaged the flocks there, but that one of the servants managed to wound the wolf. Hearing this, the man heads back to Rome, where he finds the soldier being treated by a doctor for wound. The man realizes the soldier is a shapeshifter. As with Pliny’s ghost story, this early werewolf story has many of the prototypical elements found in later such stories, including the presence of a full moon.
And from sixteenth-century Germany, the terrifying spector of Stubbe Peeter:
If any person displeased him, he would incontinent thirst for revenge, and no sooner should they or any of theirs walke abroad in the fields or about the Cittie, but in the shape of a Woolfe he would presentlye encounter them, and never rest till he had pluckt out their throates and teare their joyntes a sunder: And after he had gotten a taste hereof, he tooke such pleasure and delight in shedding of blood, that he would night and day walke the Fields, and work extreme cruelties.
So probably you, educated reader, are aware of the recent North American release of Haruki Murakimi’s newest novel, IQ84. If you are not, the picture below from TIME Magazine of the book being read by a cat should be helpful (what do book reviewers do in their spare time? Pretty much exactly what you imagine, I guess– posing grumpy cats with hot new titles). Also helpful would be this video-game reviewer imagining what would happen if IQ84 were marketed like a video game.
The word “schizophrenic” has become one that we use pretty casually to describe a person or idea that hasn’t quite made up its mind: find out a bit more about what it actually means in this article about a recently published paper by a disciple of Freud’s: The Influencing Machine.
As the boundaries between the schizophrenic’s mind and the world break down, they often feel themselves persecuted by “machines of a mystical nature,” which supposedly work by means of radio-waves, telepathy, x-rays, invisible wires, or other mysterious forces.