Born of Man and Woman

Born of Man and WomanContents:

Born Of Man And Woman
Third From The Sun
Shipshape Home
Dear Diary
Dress Of White Silk
Mad House
Through Channels
To Fit The Crime
Witch War
Lover, When You're Near Me Maybe I just had no clue what was happening, but I found that I didn’t like this one as much as the other short stories I’ve seen. It didn’t deliver the impact it was aiming to deliver, also being too short to truly do it for me. Idk. Another fine collection of stories! The highlight was the absolutely disturbing title story. What an unnerving setting. What is chained up in the house. Is it a monster or what? Why do the parents react in such a cold manner? This story will haunt you, promised. Recommended! These terse cartoony pulpacious short stories from the early 50s jitterbug madly on the borderline where science fiction meets horror and come at you like one of those notorious comics which got adults in such a tiswas back then, this kind of thing


We’re in a different world here, where wives toss their pretty blonde curls, where secretaries sharpen pencils, where young men pound typewriters and where the sexual innuendo is laid on with a trowel. In one of the longer stories, “Lover When You’re Near Me”, our astronaut is stationed on a distant planet for six months of technical duties. He’s given an allmodcons house to live in, complete with female alien housekeeper. Everyone fears these assignments. Why? Because the female aliens are telepathic, they all have the hots for tall hunky Earthmen, and they’re all phenomenally ugly! Could Richard Matheson be more blatantly talking about the grisly race relations of 1950s America? Also please note – there is no suggestion anywhere that our astronauttechnician could, like, make his own meals and clean his own house, and dispense with this horribly fascinating livein housekeeper. Oh no, the very idea that a man would do that.

There’s one terrific fourpage deformedkidinthebasement story (“and I will drip green blood on them”) and one excellent time travel piece and the rest are for historians of the no longer acceptable.

I read this very short story today. In fact I read it a few times in about half an hour, like I said it was a very short story. The thing that brought it to my attention was that my son wrote an essay on it for a college course he is taking. I read his essay last night, and the story this morning.

The first time I read it I was just creeped out, and annoyed with these parents. Almost the entire story takes place in a cellar. These supposedly "normal" parents keep their child chained in the cellar, hidden from everyone. Now I need to know a few things, first is of course why is this child locked in the cellar? And second,is the child a boy or a girl? Answer to both: beats me. There are clues of course, the first line tells us that the child's mother calls the child a retch. The father tells the child that mother is pretty, that all the people in a movie magazine the child sees are pretty, then goes on to say "look at you" and didn't have a nice face when he said it. The father pulls away when the child touches his arm.

So is the child deformed? Is the child so ugly they can't stand to look at it? Well that's a pretty awful reason to keep your child locked in a cellar. In fact there are no possible reasons to keep a child locked in a cellar at all. I can never think of a cellar without thinking of the basement of my parent's house. It could have been in an episode of "Fear Factor", dirt floor, stone walls that were always damp, very dim lighting that never touched parts of the basement, and a low, low ceiling. I went in the basement as little as possible.

There are lines in the story that seem a little odd to me, could they mean more than they say? At one point the father becomes angry and hits the child,

"The anger came in his eyes. He hit me. I spilled some of the drip on the floor from one arm. It was not nice. It made ugly green on the floor.

Now I thought on first reading this part the ugly green stuff that was "spilled" was just disgusting slime from the cellar, but could it have been something else?

Then later when the child is angry with being hit and is telling us what will happen the next time the child says:

" I will screech and laugh loud. I will run on the walls. Last I will hang head down by all my legs and laugh and drip green all over until they are sorry they didn't be nice to me."

Here's the green stuff again and the child will run on the walls and "hang by all my legs". Run on walls and hang by all its legs? How many legs could the child have? Now I'm wondering if it is a child at all. I guess I'll never know unless one of you reads the story and fills me in.

Chris, ❰Reading❯ ➶ Born of Man and Woman Author Richard Matheson –

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