Fitz-James O'Brien

(c. 1828—1862)

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Irishborn journalist and author, came to the U.S. (c.1852), where he was soon a conspicuous figure at Pfaff's Cellar and other New York bohemian rendezvous. His reputation is based on his rococo short stories dealing with psychological subjects reminiscent of Poe. The most notable of these, “The Diamond Lens” (Atlantic Monthly, Jan. 1858), tells of the inventor of a powerful microscope, who was enabled to see a sylph-like human being enclosed in a drop of water. After becoming obsessed by this fascinating creature, he went mad when she died.

Subjects: Literature.

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