Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lunchtime read: Selected Tales

The Poe is almost at an end an although it is dark stuff it is interesting because it is so clearly written by someone with an enquiring mind. Not prepared just to let the norm be the stuff of writing there is a supernaturalism here that adds to the story an added dimension that does work. On top of that there is clearly a fascination in the line between good and evil and what happens when you cross it and murder someone.

Highlights from The Facts in the Case of M.Valdemar
A man who is on his last legs agrees to be put into a mesmerist state and the narrator manages to put him under just before death intervenes. He remains in a state of half-death for months until finally it is agreed that they will let the patient wake. Asking him how he elicits the answer that is dead and demands to be let go. But no sooner out of the mesmerist state than the body crumbles and the bed is left full of a bitter smelling goo where the patient had been only moments before

Highlights from The Case of Amontillado
A man seeking revenge decides to get it on a festive day when the town will be focused on enjoying themselves. He beckons for his victim to accompany him into his dark and damp cellar to find some decent alcohol and when he reaches the farthest point chains the unsuspecting and drunk victim to the wall. He then bricks the man in and finds him changing from anger to hysteria to finally silence – a state that spooks the killer. But unlike other Poe tales he manages to get away with it and the story ends with the admission that no one has found the corpse.

Final couple of stories tomorrow…

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