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October Short Stories > Edgar Allan Poe

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message 1: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments How are we enjoying "The Black Cat," "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "Silence - A Fable"?


message 2: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Here's a link to all the Poe stories we're discussing here, in case you guys are too lazy to use Google...

http://poestories.com/stories.php


message 3: by Karolina (new)

Karolina Hi, Im new here. And I would like to say that Edgar Allan Poe is my favourite writer. I love his "The Raven", "Annabel Lee" and "The Masque of the Red Death" Because of him I started to read horror stories.


message 4: by Denise (new)

Denise (Dulcinea3) | 154 comments 'The Masque of the Red Death' is my favorite story! Love the color imagery of the different rooms! I also love 'The Raven' and 'The Bells', among his poems.

I know 'The Tell-Tale Heart' is often listed by people as their favorite story, but for some reason I was never that crazy about it. I'm not sure I remember 'Silence - A Fable'. I'm busy with other reads now, but if I get the chance, I will try to read it this month. Another of my groups here is doing Poe in general this month, too.


message 5: by Silver (new)

Silver I think the Tell-Tale Heart is the story of which people are most readily familiar with, and I believe it is also done a lot in schools. I think the first time I read it may have been middle school or high school. But he has a lot of lesser known very interesting stories.

The Black Cat I quite enjoyed which has many aspects that are quite similar to the Tell-Tale Heart. They deal with some very similar themes.

Silence- A Fable I know I read but does not stand out very clearly in my mind. If given the chance I may give it a reread as I recall I do not think it was very long. But I am looking forward to concentrating on Angela Carter whom I have never read before.


message 6: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (GammaG) | 205 comments Mod
The first story I read by Poe was "The Tell Tale Heart". I was in Grade 9 and, probably because I was so young, I thought it was brilliant. Though, I still do! I got to study it in my Poe class and I wrote my final essay on it, as well as The Black Cat. I discussed how they both had schizophrenic narrators. There's actually a really convincing essay by a professor from my university about how the narrator of The Tell Tale Heart has schizophrenia.

"Silence a Fable" is a really interesting one. The narrator in that one, I believe is the devil. The way it's written is very interesting, I think. It's not a famous story by any means but I think it's still very good.


message 7: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments What is the name of the essay? I'd very much like to read it!

The narrator of the Tell-Tale Heart is clearly mad. I love how in the very beginning he is so concerned with trying to prove that he is sane, but his tone is incongruous with what he's saying. The numerous exclamation points and cut-off sentences suggest hysteria, while his words are trying to show that, no, he's quite sane. That same paradox happens when he says he's sane because he can hear so much better than the average man, why, he can hear Hell. Yea...that's normal...sure.


message 8: by Tracy (last edited Oct 08, 2012 03:56PM) (new)

Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) I just found "Silence: A Fable" online and it is extremely short--maybe two pages.

http://classiclit.about.com/library/b...

I don't think I've read it before, although I read a lot of Poe last year with a student who was doing an EAPoe project. The narrator is not the devil, but a Daemon is a character he's talking to. It reminds me very much of William Blake's poetry and engravings. It's more poetic and descriptive--more in the vein of the Romantic poets than much of Poe's work. It seems something of an exercise and not a story like is typical of Poe.

"The Black Cat" and "the Tell-Tale Heart" are perhaps the quintessential, accessible Poe, with the paranoid narrator he so loves to torture. One thing I've noticed about Poe is that often the supernatural elements of his stories are explainable--through mentally disturbed or drug-addled narrators whose perspectives are a bit warped and demented.


message 9: by Readers (new)

Readers Niche (readersnichecom) | 3 comments l heard there is a spate of POe movies coming out of Hollywood soon


message 10: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) One of my favorite Poe stories is "Ligeia" [sp?], about a man who never gets over his first wife, marries again, but keeps imagining the 1st wife is around..it's really well done. Also he has an odd story, "The Balloon Hoax", about a man who claims he flies a hot air balloon to the moon, not very typical of his others except for the usual obsessive narrator. I also like "The Man of the Crowd", where the obsessive narrator follows someone.


message 11: by Silver (new)

Silver Tracy wrote: "Also he has an odd story, "The Balloon Hoax", about a man who claims he flies a hot air balloon to the moon, not very typical of his others except for the usual obsessive narrator"

Poe actually has quite the collection of satirical, or humorous stories of which are not so very well known as many of his horror/mystery stories are. Some of them really are quite odd and are different then what most people are used to with Poe.

I wrote an essay on Ligeia for a class once, about the hidden Alchemical symbolism in the story, and how on the surface it may seem just like a typical, neurotic narrator story, but beneath the surface, the 2nd wife could have been a sacrificial victim to bring Ligiea literally back to life. I think I may have even suggested that there were some clues in the story to allude to the idea that Ligeia was a ghost all along and just looking for a way back into the world and thus used to the narrator to help achieve her purpose.


message 12: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) Readers wrote: "l heard there is a spate of POe movies coming out of Hollywood soon"

Unfortunately the John Cusack movie I felt was not terribly Poe-like. I was disappointed as were my more well-read students who went to the movies to see it with me. Poe as an action hero doesn't really work for a Poe reader.


message 13: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) Silver wrote: "Tracy wrote: "Also he has an odd story, "The Balloon Hoax", about a man who claims he flies a hot air balloon to the moon, not very typical of his others except for the usual obsessive narrator"

P..."


I definitely see that, and I understand what you mean. I always thought Ligeia was a fitting counterpart to her obsessed husband, and at times he almost seems possessed by her. And there is all the odd curtain rustlings and draughts that seem to have a supernatural element. I


message 14: by Denise (new)

Denise (Dulcinea3) | 154 comments Silver wrote: "Poe actually has quite the collection of satirical, or humorous stories of which are not so very well known as many of his horror/mystery stories are. Some of them really are quite odd and are different then what most people are used to with Poe."

I love Poe's humorous stories! He usually manages to blend the macabre into them, as well. One of my favorites is 'Loss of Breath', which I think is hilarious!


message 15: by Karolina (new)

Karolina There is already a movie made called The Raven. I've seen it and I really, really loved it. The movie was awesome and it was amazing to see one of the stories on screen. But I will always be faithful to his stories on paper. And I'm glad to see that there are more people that love to read his stories.


message 16: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) The Raven was the movie I saw. I thought it was a pretty good movie, but I don't think it captured Poe's character very accurately--it was more like Robt Downey's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, I thought. Also it wasn't really one of his stories, that I'm aware of, although several were visually alluded to. I t also didn't follow his bio too well, and the love interest wasn't much like the Poe love interests in his stories.


message 17: by Denise (new)

Denise (Dulcinea3) | 154 comments I haven't seen that movie. I thought it might be a reference to the old Vincent Price movie, but it didn't sound like it! Those old Price movies were very loosely based on Poe's stories, but they are fun to watch. I actually just bought a few Price movies at WalMart last week, and watched them over the weekend. Two were based on Poe. Tales of Terror had three stories. I'd have to go back and reread the stories, but I think that Morella and the Case of M. Valdemar were somewhat faitful. But The Black Cat was a combination of that story and The Cask of Amontillado, and only loosely based on both. Peter Lorre had the main role, and it was quite humorous. I also watched The Pit and the Pendulum, that has little resemblance to the original story. But I enjoyed them!


message 18: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments I didn't like The Raven. It started out okay, but I found as the movie went on, it was less about Poe stories and more about the hunt for the killer. Too much action, and not enough Poe! I thought the end was really disappointing too. The murderer was the last person you'd suspect only because the character barely showed his face in the movie. It was lackluster. Boo!


message 19: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (GammaG) | 205 comments Mod
I guess you guys will nevermore watch the movie ;)


message 20: by Denise (new)

Denise (Dulcinea3) | 154 comments Stephen wrote: "I guess you guys will nevermore watch the movie ;)"

[groan] LOL!!!


message 21: by Karolina (new)

Karolina Stephen wrote: "I guess you guys will nevermore watch the movie ;)"

Hahaha funny! I probably will watch it again but not so soon. :)


message 22: by Louise (new)

Louise Denise wrote: "I love Poe's humorous stories! He usually manages to blend the macabre into them, as well. One of my favorites is 'Loss of Breath', which I think is hilarious!"

I have The Complete Stories which I've only dipped into really before and just read Loss of Breath yesterday. It's great, isn't it?

Read the three stories we're reading here today. Think my favourite is probably The Black Cat but I think only because the basic plot is so similar to The Tell-Tale Heart and I just happened to read The Black Cat first. Had it been the other way round I'd probably prefer The Tell-Tale Heart.

Silence - A Fable I might have to have a second look at, but I really enjoyed that as well. A very interesting pick.


message 23: by Denise (new)

Denise (Dulcinea3) | 154 comments I'm glad you enjoyed Loss of Breath, Louise!

I read Silence - A Fable (which in my edition is titled Siope [Silence] - A Fable) last night. I realized that I had actually read it before. It intrigued me and I had to do some research to try to find out what the allegory was. What I read was that it refers to man clinging to the rock of reality while all the activity of the world goes on around him. Then silence represents death and terrifies him, so he flees. The story has a lot of parallels to a story by Bulwer, an author that Poe liked, called “Monos and Daimonos, A Legend”. Other interesting things were that the ancient Greeks and Romans referred to all of Africa as Libya, and the Zaire refers to the Congo River. Also, it was generally believed that the behemoth referred to in the Bible was a hippopotamus, but some believed that it was an elephant, and Poe was apparently among them. I found it interesting that Poe used a lot of repetition of phrases, like when he said that the rock was grey.

This is where I found the article, by the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore:
http://www.eapoe.org/works/mabbott/to...


message 24: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) Paulina wrote: "I didn't like The Raven. It started out okay, but I found as the movie went on, it was less about Poe stories and more about the hunt for the killer. Too much action, and not enough Poe! I thought ..."

Oh, yeah I forgot about the totally lame ending..you are right.


message 25: by Louise (new)

Louise Denise wrote: "I'm glad you enjoyed Loss of Breath, Louise!

I read Silence - A Fable (which in my edition is titled Siope [Silence] - A Fable) last night. I realized that I had actually read it before. It intr..."


Thank you for the link. Was going to do a bit more of a look myself at the influences and references in that story before I embarrassed myself saying any more about it so very helpful :)


message 26: by Paulina (new)

Paulina (paulinabibliophile) | 192 comments Nancy wrote: "i also read the Silence- A Fable as i had not read it before.. it didn't really stick with me but it was evocotive. thanks to Denise for her research and the link.."

I agree. It was an interesting read, but I couldn't really wrap my head around it. May take a bit of research and one or three re-reads.


message 27: by Kaida46 (deb) (new)

Kaida46 (deb) (Kaida46) | 16 comments The Black Cat was wonderfully ironic! I loved the ending.


message 28: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (GammaG) | 205 comments Mod
Yes! I quite love The Black Cat. It's one of my personal favourites.

Silence does take a little while to grasp. It's definitely one of those stories that needs to be read multiple times to understand. I did write an essay on it - I can't really remember what it was about, but I remember doing really well on it.


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