“He Smells Your Fear”

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…beyond any fear is a greater circumambient fear, a terror, that one will be insufficiently able to hold that fear. That if the stimulus is present and ongoing, unchecked, one might fall apart, come to pieces, in her faculties disintegrate.

Writer Bryan Blanchfield was attacked by his family dog at age nine, so viciously that a surgeon had to be flown in to repair his mutilated face.

In a gorgeous essay for Guernica, he discusses the fear of dogs the event (understandably!) instilled in him and the nature of fear itself.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →