Edgar Allan Poe Shortstories Part V

Hi all šŸ™‚

I’m back with Part 5 and this time I’m going to present 5 works. I guess I’m actually not that fast in reading them, but truth be told, I was a bit busy this couple of days. But I think that the other part of the problem is that I’m reading them online and not from an actual book. And personally, I prefer books. But sadly, the books I’m planning to read in the near future are all on my computer. But that’s enough whining for today, so let’s take a look at the stories šŸ˜› Like before, the titles are links to where you can read them online šŸ™‚

The Masque of the Red Death

When I saw the title, I knew I’ve read this before. I think it was in highschool and I distinctly remember loving it šŸ˜€ It’s really creepy and bizarre, but when something creepy and bizarre is excellently written, it becomes great. Well, for me at least šŸ˜›

The story is about Prince Prospero, who gathers a thousand people from his court and they seclude themselves in a castle, trying to get away from the “red death”.

The prince organizes a masquerade ball and the guests and rooms are beautifully described in their uniqueness, as well as the atmosphere with the ghastly sound of the ebony clock. But at midnight a new guest arrives who stirs disapproval and indignation. And as the prince and the guests try to get a hold of him, they soon realize that their guest is not someone they can easily deal with.

Mesmeric Revelation

This story reminded me of “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” (click to read it online), because both present a conversation with a hypnotized man on his deathbed.

But this one’s a bit different, because the theme is not the fact that he is speaking to Mr. Vankirk in this state, but rather what they are talking about.

This story is again a great example of Poe’s intellect, because he not only touches philosophical questions, but also scientific ones. He and his patient talk about the mind of God and creation, about life and death and about pain and happiness. This point of view is a very interesting one and there were aspects that I could actually imagine being true. I would definitely recommend reading it, especially for those of you who like this kind of stuff šŸ™‚

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

This story is again a different one in theme, because it’s a detective story. And a pretty good one, actually šŸ™‚

It presents a gruesome murder (I can’t even describe how disturbing it is… ) of two women, mother and daughter, and the police find no clues thus labeling the murder unsolvable. The narrator and his friend, a M. Dupin, are drawn to the case and decide to investigate themselves.

M. Dupin, as presented, has a great intellect and an analytical mind, able to almost read someones mind only by observing. This ability helps them unravel the mystery behind the murder, which has shocking and unexpected results.

I would definitely recommend this story, even though it’s a bit long, because the deductions of M. Dupin are just amazing and the story itself is really interesting šŸ™‚

Never Bet the Devil Your Head

As the subtitle says, this story is “A tale with a moral”. It’s actually pretty funny and pretty tragic at the same time, especially when presenting the narrator’s friend, Toby Dammit.

In the first part of the story, the narrator talks about stories without morals and how he will tell us a story with one. He presents the background and habits of his friend, emphasizing that he likes to bet by saying “I’ll bet the Devil my head!”. The narrator tries to make him stop this habit, but fails every time.

But as the two of them go for a walk, heading over a covered bridge, a new figure emerges from out of nowhere and things start to get weird. The last paragraph has again a tragicomic impression, and it’s weird, because it makes you laugh at first, but then you think about it and feel bad for laughing. At least I did šŸ˜›

The Oval Portrait

This is a really short story, but a very sad one. The plot itself may not be entirely credible, but I think the true meaning is beyond it.

The story presents the narrator in a room with many portraits and he passes the time by observing them and reading about their history from a book.

He discovers a painting of a girl, which he had not noticed before, and which has a great effect on him. He reads the story of the portrait from the book and finds out that the girl in the painting married the painter, thus having as enemy for the heart of the painter nothing more that Art itself.

The painter wants to paint the portrait of his beautiful wife and for weeks he does nothing else. But his actions, every stroke of his brush, seems to take away bit by bit the life from the beautiful girl.

I think the story is definitely worth reading, because it presents beautifully how two forms of love collide. And it’s really short šŸ˜›

So, I guess this is all for now and soon I’ll be back with Part VI šŸ™‚

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read šŸ™‚

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