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Preview — The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
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The Masque of the Red Death
In the midst of their revelry, a mysterious figure disguised as a Red Death victim enters and makes his way through eac ...more
I’ve always sensed a strong connection to Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, perhaps because I've both played and listen to loads of medieval music, perhaps because I enjoy the art and history and philosophy of that period, or, perhaps because I’ve always been drawn to literature dealing with issues of life and death. Whatever the reason, I love this tale. Here are my reflections on several themes:
The tale’s Red Death sounds like the Black Death of 1349 where a family member could be ...more
I enjoy Edgar Allan Poe so much; however, I still did not manage to get through all of his short stories, but I'll be definitely working on correcting that oversight.
This one was short, straight to the point. It won't go between my favourite Poe's short stories but yet, it was rather chilling.
With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meanti ...more
Vonnegut: Damn! Hooked it.
Lovecraft: You’ve been pulling it left all day, you raised your head on the swing.
Bradbury: I saw you move your front foot.
Poe: You need to keep your arm straighter.
Vonnegut: OK! Damn it. Ed, what in the hell made you write the Red Death story?
Bradbury: Masque of the Red Death, one of my favorites, t ...more
I don't know how I overlooked "The Masque of the Red Death" when I was going through my Poe phase a while back, but someone's review reminded me of it (Thanks, random Goodreads friend!). So I found a copy of it online here and gave it another read to refresh my memory.
This story is both less and more than I recalled. It's long on setting and mood and short on plot. The plot could probably be described in about two sentences. Let's give it a try:
A deadly plague is ravaging the land, and the unf...more
And now was acknowledged the presence of Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in his despairing posture of his fall....more
Poe's incredible talent in setting mood through the most miniscule of details is powerful as he establishes dread, irony, and a hefty infusion of Gothic feel by detailing the colors of a series of rooms and what they represent to the audience and characters. The symbolism of the clock is musical and alluring; the ominous clang and the dancers reactions, with its ...more
I'd meant to post about it anyway as the best comment on the White House superspreader event was made by blogger and podcaster Driftglass on the Professional Left podcast:
"The Masque of the Red Death just gets funnier EVERY SINGLE TIME! (with thanks to Beetlejuice)"
It has been many years since I first read this story but it never ceases to chill. We cannot run away or hide from death. It comes for us all.
A lot of time was spent, it seemed, on describing the various rooms, which each had a color and theme. The revelers were all too happy to join him in celebration until things start to g ...more
Maybe my favorite Poe. He has this style, that makes you feel this rush and think, dang, that's cool! I remember feeling more of that in the first read. This time, I don't know if perspectives changed or if I understood the objectivity of the piece better, but I felt a visceral terror flowing through my body from my gut that ended in an explosion of thrill and high, and bodily reactions of goosebumps and chill-bumps in the end. This Red Death guy - not someone I'd like to meet ...more
Basically, what my dislike of this comes down to is the length. It's only four pages, which (for me at least) simply is not enough time to become invested in a story and care about its ending. ...more
I don't think anyone will have gotten the full Poe Experience without reading Masque at some point.
Lavish in detail and honestly, more powerful than a lot of full-length novels I've read. I wish there were a way to describe it without feeling like I'm squashing the whole point of reading it.
Perhaps if Poe wrote this story today, there may be some hint at washing hands regularly, not hoarding hand sanitizers and not fighting over toilet paper.
Bumping up the rating to 5 stars in light of recent events. ...more
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