“The Crystal Bell,” Fitz James O’Brien, 1856

“The Crystal Bell,” Fitz-James O’Brien, 1856 – A man is kind to a stranger in a tavern. The stranger rewards him with a crystal bell capable of revealing lies. Although he had never doubted his fiancé before, he is compelled to put her to the test. He finds her with his rival. Her body language and expression suggest sincerity, but the bells begins to ring, “confirming” his fear that she is just “playing her part.”

Comments: Here, technology interferes with the protagonist’s faith in the identity of his love, her hidden interior can be exposed (or so he thinks), despite what he reads from her body and hears in her speech. 

Author: Wikipedia: “Fitz James O’Brien (also spelled Fitz-James; December 31, 1828 – April 6, 1862) was an Irish-born American writer.”

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About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1926 and earlier, emotions/intimacy/empathy, interior/exterior, knowledge/truth/epistemology, love/family/children, male anxiety, theatre/performance. Bookmark the permalink.

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