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El extraño y aterrador caso de Valdemar \\De Edgar. A. Poe//

El extraño y aterrador caso de Valdemar \De Edgar. A. Poe//


In no way I find it surprising that
the extraordinary case of Mr. Valdemar It has provoked so many discussions. Would have
it was a miracle that the opposite happened, especially in such circumstances. Even if
all participants wanted to keep the matter away from the public – at least for
the moment, or until we were offered new research opportunities-, to
In spite of our efforts, it soon spread a version as spurious as exaggerated that
became a source of many nasty misrepresentations and, naturally, deep
disbelief. The moment has come for me to make known
the facts – to the extent possible understand them. Helos here succinctly: During the last years the study of
hypnotism had repeatedly attracted my Attention. About nine months ago, it occurred to me
suddenly that in the series of experiments made so far there was an omission
as curious as inexplicable: he had never hypnotized no one in article mortis. Was left
to be seen if, first of all, a patient under those conditions it would be susceptible to
magnetic influence; second, in case of that it was, if its state would increase or decrease
said susceptibility, and third, to what point, or for how long, the hypnotic process
would be able to stop the intrusion of the death. Other points remained to be clarified,
but these were the ones that most excited my curiosity, especially the last one, given the
immense importance that their consequences. Thinking if between my relationships there would be any
subject that allowed me to verify those points, I remembered my friend Ernest Valdemar, renowned
Compiler of the Forensic Bibliotheca and author (under the plume name of Issachar Marx) of
the Polish versions of Wallenstein and Gargantúa. Mr. Valdemar, resident since 1839 in
Harlem, New York, is (or was) especially notable for its extraordinary thinness, both
that his lower extremities looked like much to those of John Randolph, and also for
the whiteness of its sideburns, in violent contrast with her black hair, which led to
frequently assume that he wig. Had a very nervous temper, which made him
In good subject for hypnotic experiences. Two or three times he had fallen asleep without
Great job, but I was disappointed not to reach other results than its special constitution
He had made me foresee. His will was not left never under my entire domain, and, so
regards clairvoyance, you couldn’t trust anything I had achieved
with the. I attributed those failures to Bad health of my friend. A few months
before working with him, doctors They had declared him tuberculous. The Lord
Valdemar used to refer calmly to its next end, as something that does not fit
Avoid or regret. When the ideas I alluded to came up with me
for the first time, the most natural thing was to come to Valdemar. Too well I knew the serene
my friend’s philosophy to fear some scruple On your part; otherwise, he had no relatives
in America that could intervene to oppose. I spoke frankly about it and, for me
surprise, I noticed that he was keenly interested. I say to my surprise, well, until
then he had loaned freely to my experiments, never showed the least interest
for what I did. His illness was of those that allow an accurate calculation on
the moment in which death will ensue. So we agreed that he would send me a call
twenty four hours before the scheduled time by his doctors for his death. Dear: You can come now. D … and F … match
that I will not pass tomorrow at midnight, and it seems to me that they have calculated the time with
much accuracy. Valdemar I received the ticket half an hour after
written, and fifteen minutes later I was In the dying man’s bedroom. There was no
seen in the last ten days and it terrified me the awful alteration that had occurred
In such a short interval. His face had a leaden color, there was no glare in
his eyes and, so terrible was his thinness, that the skin had opened in the cheekbones.
He watched continuously and the pulse was almost imperceptible. He still had one
remarkable mental clarity, and some strength. He spoke to me clearly, took some
painkillers without help from others and, at the moment from entering his room, I found him
writing some notes in a notebook. I know kept sitting on the bed with the help of
several pillows, and the doctors After shaking Valdemar’s hand, I led
apart from the doctors and asked them to explain to me in detail the condition of the patient. Since
eighteen months ago, the left lung was in a semi-osseous or cartilaginous state,
And, naturally, it didn’t work at all. In its upper portion the right lung
appeared partially ossified, while the lower one was just a mass of tubers
purulent that confused each other. There were several extensive perforations and
at one point there had been an adhesion permanent to the ribs. All these phenomena
of the right lobe were of recent date; the ossification had been operated with unusual
speed, since a month before they did not exist signs of it and adhesion only
had been verifiable in the last three days. Apart from tuberculosis doctors
they suspected an aneurysm of the aorta, but the symptoms of ossification returned
A diagnosis is extremely difficult. Both of them doctors thought that Valdemar would die
around midnight the next day (a Sunday). It was now seven in the afternoon
of Saturday. Leaving the head of the dying man to
talk to me, the doctors had finally fired from him. It wasn’t his
I intend to see him again, but, at my request, they agreed to examine the patient at
Ten o’clock the next day. Once they left, I spoke frankly with
Valdemar about his next end, and I referred in detail to the experiment he had proposed.
Again he was willing, and even eager to carry it out, and asked me to
It will start immediately. Two nurses, one man and woman, treated the patient,
but I didn’t feel authorized to carry out such an intervention against
to the witnesses of so little responsibility in case of a sudden accident. I postponed,
therefore, the experiment until eight o’clock the night of the next day when the arrival
of a medical student of my knowledge It freed me from all worry. My intention
initial had been to wait for doctors, but I was forced to proceed first
for the urgent orders of Valdemar and then by my own conviction that there was no
a minute to lose, since with all evidence the end was fast approaching. Mr. L … l was kind enough to access
at my request, as well as taking note of everything Whatever happened. What I will tell now
comes from his notes, either in condensed form or verbatim It was five minutes to eight when,
after taking Valdemar’s hand, he I asked him to manifest with all the clarity
possible, in the presence of L … l, who was willing to hypnotize you in the state
where he was Weak, but distinctly, the patient replied:
«Yes, I want to be hypnotized», adding immediately: «I’m afraid it’s too much
late.” While saying so, I began to make the
passes that on previous occasions had been more effective with him. I undoubtedly felt
the influence of the first lateral movement of my hand by his forehead, but, although I used
all my powers, it was impossible for me to achieve other effects until a few minutes later
Ten o’clock, when the doctors arrived just as they had promised. In a nutshell
I explained what my intention was, and, as they did not oppose, considering
that the patient was already in agony, I continued without hesitation, changing, however, passes
lateral by other vertical and concentrating My look in the right eye of the subject. At this point his pulse was imperceptible and
I was breathing between rales, at intervals of half a minute This situation remained without variants during
fifteen minutes. When this period expires, however, a perfectly natural sigh,
although very deep, he escaped the chest of dying while breathing stopped
stertorous or, rather, ceased to be perceived the rales; as for the intervals
of breathing, they remained the same. The patient’s limbs were freezing. At five minutes to eleven, I noticed unequivocally
Signs of hypnotic influence. The glassy eye look was replaced by that
restless expression inside exam which is never seen except in cases of hypnotism,
and about which you can’t fool yourself. Through some quick side passes I throbbed
the eyelids, as when approaching the dream, and with a few more I closed them completely.
This was not enough to satisfy me, however, but vigorously continued my manipulations,
putting in them all my will, until that I had achieved the complete rigidity of
sleeper members, whom previously I had placed in the position that I thought
more comfortable The legs were completely stretched; the arms rested on the bed,
a short distance from the flanks. Head It had been slightly raised. When this was finished it was already midnight
and asked those present to examine the Valdemar state. After a few checks,
they admitted that he was in a state Unusually perfect hypnotic trance.
The curiosity of both doctors had Aroused to the fullest extent. Doctor D … decided
spend the night at the bedside, while Dr. M … left, with promise
To return early in the morning. L … ly The nurses stayed. We leave Valdemar in complete tranquility
until three in the morning, when I approached and saw that he was still in the same state
that when Dr. F left …; is worth to say, he lay in the same position and his pulse was
imperceptible. He breathed effortlessly, though his breath was hardly noticeable, except that
a mirror will be applied to the lips. The eyes they were closed naturally and the legs
as stiff and cold as if they were marble. However, the overall appearance was far from
Much of that of death. As I approached I tried a slight effort to
influence the right arm in order to to follow my movements, that
it moved smoothly over his body. In this experiment class had never achieved
good result with Valdemar, but now, for my stupefaction, I saw that his arm, weak
but sure, he followed all directions that pointed to mine. I decided then
to try a brief dialogue. -Valdemar … do you sleep? -I asked for. He didn’t answer me, but I noticed that he was shaking
the lips, so I repeated several times the question. The third time, his whole body
he stirred with a slight tremor; the eyelids they got up enough to show a
white line of the eye; moving slowly lips, while in a whisper barely
These words sprang from them audibly: -Yes … now I sleep. Don’t wake me up! Let me
die like that! I felt the limbs, finding them so rigid
like before. I questioned the hypnotized again: – Are you still feeling chest pain, Valdemar? The response took a moment and it was still
less audible than the previous one: -I don’t suffer … I’m dying. I didn’t think it advisable to bother him anymore
for the moment, and I didn’t speak to him again the arrival of doctor M …, who arrived little
before sunrise and he stayed absolutely dumbfounded to find that the patient
I was still alive. After taking the pulse and bring a mirror to your lips, I
he asked me to speak to him again, to which I agreed “Valdemar,” I said. Are you still sleeping? Like the first time, a few minutes passed
before achieving the answer, and during the interval the dying gave the impression of
be joining forces to speak. To the fourth repetition of the question, and with a voice that
the weakness became almost inaudible, he muttered: -Yes … Asleep … Dying. The opinion or, better, the desire of doctors
it was that Valdemar was not torn from his current state of apparent tranquility until
death ensued, which, according to consensus General, it could only take a few minutes.
I decided, however, to speak to him once more, just repeating my previous question. While doing so, a noticeable change occurred
in the hypnotized factions. The eyes they opened slowly, although the pupils
they had turned up; the skin acquired a cadaverous hue, more similar
to white paper than to parchment, and circles hectic, that until that moment stood out
strongly in the center of each cheek, They turned off abruptly. I use these words
because the instant of his disappearance brought to my memory the image of a spark plug
That goes out of a breath. At the same time the upper lip retracted, leaving the
discovered the teeth that used to cover completely while the lower jaw
It fell with a shake we all heard leaving your mouth wide open and revealing
a swollen and blackened tongue. I suppose that everyone present was used to
to the horrors of a deathbed, but Valdemar’s appearance was so scary
at that moment, there was a movement general recoil. I understand that I have now reached a point
of my story in which the reader will feel moved to absolute disbelief. I look,
however, forced to continue it. The most imperceptible sign of vitality was
ceased in Valdemar; sure i was dead we already trusted the nurses,
when we were given to observe a strong movement vibratory tongue. The vibration is
held for about a minute. When ceasing, of those open and motionless
jaws sprouted a voice that would be foolish pretend to describe It is true that they exist
two or three epithets that could be applied partially: I can say, for example, that
its sound was rough and broken, as well as hole. But it’s completely unspeakable,
the simple reason that never an ear Human has perceived similar resonances.
Two features, however – according I thought about it at the moment and I keep thinking-,
can be designated as their own sound and give some idea of ​​its extraterrestrial quality.
First, the voice seemed to arrive to our ears (at least to mine)
from long distance, or from a cave In the depth of the earth. Second, I
produced the same feeling (I fear it will be impossible to make me understand) that the subjects
jelly and viscous produce in the sense of touch I have spoken at the same time of “sound” and
voice”. I mean the sound consisted in a very clear syllable, of a clarity
Even amazing and scary. The Lord Valdemar spoke, and it was evident that he was
answering the question asked for me a few minutes before. As you will remember,
I had asked him if he was still sleeping. And now I heard: -Yes … No … I was sleeping … and now …
Now … I’m dead. None of those present even intended
deny or repress the inexpressible, shocking fright that those few words as well
pronounced, they had to produce. L … l, The student fell faded. Nurses
they escaped the room and it was impossible to convince them of them coming back. For my part, I will not try
to communicate my own impressions to the reader. For an hour, silent, without uttering
one word, we strive to revive L … l. When he came back to himself, we were able to dedicate ourselves
to examine the state of Valdemar. It continued, in every way, as I have described
before, except that the mirror did not provide and proof of his breathing. It was useless
that we try to bleed it in the arm. I must add that he did not obey me anymore
Will. In vain I struggled to make him Follow the direction of my hand. The only one
sign of hypnotic influence constituted it now the vibratory movement of the tongue
every time I asked a question again to Valdemar. It would be said that he was trying to answer,
but that lacked sufficient will. He remained insensitive to any question that
I would formulate anything other than me, although I struggled to put each of those present
in hypnotic relationship with the patient. I think that with this I have indicated everything necessary
to understand what the condition was of the hypnotized at that time. It was called
to new nurses, and at ten in the morning I left the abode in the company of both
doctors and L … l. We returned in the afternoon to see the patient. his
state remained the same. We discuss a while about convenience and possibility
of waking him up, but we had little trouble getting there at the conclusion that nothing good would be achieved
with that. It was obvious that so far, death (or what is usually called
death) had been arrested for the process hypnotic. It seemed clear that if we woke up
to Valdemar, the only thing we would achieve would be its immediate or, at least, its rapid death. From this moment until the end of the week
Past-worth saying, almost seven months-we continue going daily to Valdemar’s house,
accompanied again and again by doctors and other friends During all this time the
hypnotized remained exactly as what I have described. The nurses attended to him continuously. Finally, last Friday we decided to do
the experiment of waking him up, or trying to wake him up: probably the unfortunate result
of it is the one that has given rise to so much discussion in private circles already a
public opinion that I can’t stop considering as unjustified For the purpose of ridding hypnotic trance
To the patient, I went to the usual passes. They were unsuccessful at first. The first
indication of a return to life provided it the partial descent of the iris. As detail
remarkable it was noted that this decline in pupil was accompanied by an abundant flow
yellowish, coming from under the eyelids, that gave off a pungent and foul odor.
Someone suggested that I try to influence on the patient’s arm, as at the beginning.
I tried, without result. Then the doctor M … expressed his desire to question
to the patient. I did so, with the following words: -Mr. Valdemar … can you explain what
What do you feel and what do you want? The circles instantly reappeared
hectic on the cheeks; the tongue trembled, or, rather, rolled violently in the
mouth (although jaws and lips they remained rigid as before), and then
resounded that horrendous voice that I have tried already to describe: -For God’s sake … soon … soon …
make me sleep … or wake me up … soon … wake me up! I tell him I’m dead! I completely lost serenity and, during
For a moment, I was left without knowing what to do. Finally, I tried to calm the patient again,
but upon failure, due to total suspension of will, I changed the procedure and
I struggled with all my strength to wake him up. I soon realized that I would make it, or,
at least, that’s how I imagined it; and I’m sure all the attendees were
ready to see the patient wake up. But what really happened was something to
which no human being could be prepared. While quickly running passes
hypnotics, among the cries of: «Dead! Dead! ”, Which literally exploded from
the tongue and not from the lips of the sufferer, abruptly his entire body, in space
of a minute, or even less, it shrunk, it I undid … rotted in my hands. On
the bed, before all those present, was not left more than an almost liquid mass of disgusting,
of abominable rot.

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