Lavoisier Blinking

I’ve been wondering whether to watch the decapitation video. I tend to think that I should go look at these sorts of gruesome things because I’m an aspiring writer and I need to be exposed to all the barbarity man is capable of. It’s not like I can go to Dorchester to see someone’s head chopped off (although if I wanted to see people getting run down by the T the prospects would be brighter). Even as a non-writer, I’m not sure we should hide from the truth, especially when it’s gruesome.

When I heard the news the third or fourth time, in particular a bit about the screams of the victim, I remembered the story about Lavoisier blinking. Since this is a gruesome topic, I’ll let you follow this link rather than tell the tale, but if you know it already let me mention that it appears to be apocryphal. There are similar stories from the French Revolution, but not involving Lavoisier himself. For some more recent data on decapitation, see the Straight Dope.

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