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The Magnetic Portraits

North, William. "The Magnetic Portraits." Saturday Press. 30 Oct. 1858: 1.
short fiction

The story begins with the narrator's, Ernest, meeting with Professor Dunkelheim, an inventor, during which he requests that the Professor take two portraits - one of himself and the other of his betrothed, Elora - using his new image-making technique. The narrator hints at his horror and hatred of the Professor that he does not completely understand at their initial meetings. The narrator discusses his first viewing of the Professor's portraits - which are remarkable, moving likenesses - and the fears and sense of violation expressed by the main characters that the Professor has copies. The story explores the anguish of both watching and being watched. When Ernest returns to the Professor to retrieve the Professor's personal copies, Ernest finds that Dunkleheim has left Berlin. Elora refuses to be married while another person can watch them in their most intimate moments and Ernest leaves to follow Dunkelheim.

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