Do you read French? No? Google Translate to the rescue! But even then this short story is confusing. I read it twice in hardcopy format and online. ToDo you read French? No? Google Translate to the rescue! But even then this short story is confusing. I read it twice in hardcopy format and online. To fully understand what happens I had to resort to Google where I found the clearest explanation from the Examiner.
Basically a self-absorbed dandy Duke chokes on an olive and dies. In Hell with the Devil he's asked to strip. Offended he demands a fencing duel to win back his life. Since the Devil doesn't know how, they play cards. Our dandy Duke wins, though if he had to be in hell, he wouldn't mind being the Devil.
My guess is Poe didn't like superficial dandies if he's sending them straight to Hell.
Le Duc de L'Omelette is the second tale Poe wrote, in 1832, two months after Metzengerstein - another tale for which I had to resort to Google for help.
Poe's early work certainly isn't his best.
Lesson: Never assume your audience is as educated as you.
Earl is a permanent patient at a hospital since he was injured in the attack which saw Earl's wife raped and killed. His injury has caused permanent brain damage meaning he's unable to convert short-term into long-term memories. Earl remembers everything before the damage, but nothing after, so his memory is only ten minutes long.
You can't have a normal life anymore. You must know that. How can you have a girlfriend if you can't remember her name? Can't have kids, not unless you want them to grow up with a dad who doesn't recognize them. Sure as hell can't hold down a job. Not too many professions out there that value forgetfulness. Prostitution, maybe. Politics, of course.
No. Your life is over. You're a dead man. The only thing the doctors are hoping to do is teach you to be less of a burden to the orderlies. And they'll probably never let you go home, wherever that would be.
So the question is not "to be or not to be," because you aren't. The question is whether you want to do something about it. Whether revenge matters to you.
It does to most people. For a few weeks, they plot, they scheme, they take measures to get even. But the passage of time is all it takes to erode that initial impulse. Time is theft, isn't that what they say? And time eventually convinces most of us that forgiveness is a virtue. Conveniently, cowardice and forgiveness look identical at a certain distance. Time steals your nerve.
No doubt Memento Mori is interesting and insightful. A man with no memory has nothing to lose. Punishment for taking revenge on his wife's killer is going to be meaningless to him, although I'm not sure it's realistic for Earl to actually achieve this goal with a ten-minute memory even with the notes tattooed on his body to remind him of what he needs to do.
Jonathan Nolan's narration of Memento Mori is also available for free on YouTube....more
Metzengerstein is Poe’s first published short story, and it was not good. Seven pages of confusing, and almost nonsensical, Hatfields and McCoys tale of two feuding families.
Why give it two stars instead of one? Wikipedia. Yeah, I shouldn’t have to resort to another source in order to understand the story, but I identified the important pieces but didn’t know how to put them together. Once I did, it all made sense.
Vengeance was had on the young head of the Metzengerstein by a manifestation of the dead Berlifitzing patriarch in the form of a demonic horse, who had previously resided (and moved) inside a tapestry. That kind of reminded me of the film adaption of Roald Dahl's The Witches with girl living inside the painting.
Anyway, had this story been written more clearly, it would've been an awesome Halloween read. I loved the imagery of the horse's gothic triumph at the end.
Okay, so Hannibal isn't in it but there is a mysterious yet creepy girl-child who doesn't mind munchLooks at title.
Hannibal, is that you?
Okay, so Hannibal isn't in it but there is a mysterious yet creepy girl-child who doesn't mind munching on meat of the two-legged, walking, talking variety . . . while they're still alive. (Anyone else thinking of the Eddie Izzard scene in Hannibal when he's forced to eat his own thigh?) The main character really kidnapped the wrong kids. Nothing goes his way.
*Free short story from Audible, perhaps a little too short for me....more