Poe Week: Thoughts on Random Stories





This is a day late but hopefully not a dollar short. I ended up  getting sick and as a result slacking on these posts. Had a few more reviews I wanted to dish out though. I have a feeling I'll probably get more Poe stuff out next week since I didn't get it all up at once like planned. Oh well, I'm sure people will survive!

Murders in the Rue Morgue


I can clearly see how Sherlock Holmes came soon after, to me there are many similarities. You have the intelligent sidekick friend who is always amazed at his other friends detective abilities. The detective is the wealthier one,  thinking of things in a logical, concise manner, catching things other have no hope of. Again this story started off a bit too stiff and rambling, but within a few pages it quickly took to an actual story. The characters were interesting enough and the murder really quite a mystery. Who the villain ended up....well, that was a surprise and almost a comical turnabout. Poe wrote with less of a poetic edge with this story as he wasn't really trying to create a feeling or dread or any particular atmosphere.

The Black Cat


I loved this story, although it was sadly disturbing. The focus of the plot was more or less alcoholism, how it turned a sweet, serene man into a monster. I have to say this is one of my top favorites from Poe, and now I'm curious on seeing the movie. It wasn't initially on the roster but after reading this story...anyway, the disturbance comes in on the abuse the man does to the cat and the neglect. He truly becomes a changed, deranged man.

But my disease grew upon me - for what disease is like Alcohol! - and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish - even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper.

The ending with his paranoia and the cat leaves questions in the readers mind. Was there something truly supernatural at play? Was it more in the mind of the man and just karma at work for the greater justice?

Ligeia


More of Poe's fascination with women and the grief when they pass on. Some beautiful wording in here almost on the brink of obsession, if not crossing that line. I found it interesting how the second marriage ended up in mutual ...well, not love. I don't quite get the very ending though. I guess Poe was trying to write a shocking one that was almost a ghostly type of tale. It's a merge of gothicism with a love story.


The Tell-Tale Heart


One of his most famous pieces, it's short and fascinating. There is no big motive given for the man's urge of madness. We do get a flimsy excuse that makes little sense (the eye bugged him!) but can this really be a legit explanation? Clearly the man was either mad or wicked to begin with. He plotted to kill the older gentleman over a week's time, clearly premeditated. There was tight suspense as he waited in the room, hoping not to be discovered, before committing the heinous act. The ending was almost funny with the paranoia and the result. The ending of the story is the most famous line from it. I have to say for some reason this story greatly reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock, mainly his short tv serials in Alfred Hitchcock presents.

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! - tear up the planks! - here, here! - it is the beating of his hideous heart!"

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