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28 NOVEMBER 2009

Short Story: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

"In 1890, author Ambrose Bierce penned a short story entitled 'An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge', about Peyton Farquhar, a Civil War Confederate sympathizer who's condemned to be hanged by the neck off the Owl Creek Bridge. As he is pushed off the bridge, the rope breaks and Peyton falls into the river below. He unties his bonds and makes his way to dry land. He travels day and night for thirty miles to reach his home, all the while experiencing a heightened, almost superhuman awareness of his surroundings. Just as he's about to run into his lovely wife's arms, he feels a stunning blow on the back of his neck, and all goes dark. Peyton Farquhar's escape turns out to be a dream experienced in the brief moments between being pushed off the bridge and having the noose snap his neck.
Bierce's story, with its twist it–was–all–a–dream ending has influenced and inspired many films in its wake."

(Cineleet, 23 March 2008)



1890 • A Dead Mans Dream • Alabama • Ambrose Bierce • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge • anagnorisis • army • civil wardramaexpositionfantasy about deathfictionhangingin media resnarrativeperception • Peyton Farquhar • short storysoldier


Simon Perkins

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