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#90056 - 09/20/10 09:24 AM October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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In honor of October, Halloween, and Samhain, we've selected two short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, both available online and free:



My mom's a big Poe fan, and I have many fond memories of her reading us these (and other) Poe stories in the days leading up to Halloween.

Discussion begins on October 15. Happy reading!

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#90110 - 10/01/10 09:02 AM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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*bump* In the mood for some spooky reading? Join us for a discussion of two Poe stories on October 15. (See above for links to the full-text stories.)
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#90130 - 10/08/10 09:03 AM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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*bump* One more week to read "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Tell-Tale Heart"! I have a Poe reader at home, so I suspect that I will binge on more than those two. A re-read of "Annabel Lee" is definitely in the cards for me...
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#90136 - 10/08/10 10:08 PM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
CaitlinM2



Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 457
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area

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Thanks for the reminder. Time to dust off my Complete Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe!
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#90147 - 10/14/10 10:20 AM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: CaitlinM2]
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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*bump* Poe stories are pretty short, so you still have time for a quick read of "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Cask of Amontillado" before discussion starts tomorrow. (See the first post in the thread for links to the stories.)
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#90150 - 10/15/10 11:12 AM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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Ok, so I haven't read any Poe in a long time (except maybe "The Raven"). I was surprised (in a pleased, but sort of horrified way) at his grasp of psychology, although I doubt he'd have called it that.

(I'm not going to bother with spoiler tags for stories that are 150+ years old.)

In "The Cask of Amontillado," Montresor knows exactly how to use reverse psychology to manipulate Fortunato to go willingly, nay enthusiastically, into the crypt. In "The Tell-Tale Heart," we get a chilling portrait of someone who employs psychology to heighten the horror of the lead-up to murder. I'd be really curious to know how Poe would have described his protagonists, because the word that occurs to me in both cases is psychopath. In both cases, there's this intricately plotted scheme with an internal logic that makes complete sense IF you buy into the underlying delusion (Fortunato deserves to die because of the unspecified "thousand injuries" he has caused Montresor; the old man deserves to die because of his "Evil Eye"). From the outside, at least initially, the protagonists maintain a semblance of normality that masks their amoral decisions to right these dubious wrongs (which is what differentiates psychopaths from other forms of insanity, which involve more obvious delusion). Now I need to go read The Fall of the House of Usher!

I found myself wanting to hear the stories read aloud. I think I'll look for Poe audiobooks when I get home tonight.

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#90212 - 10/31/10 01:05 PM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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Happy Halloween! I just wanted to share this link for the Simpsons' interpretation of The Raven.

Has anyone read any Poe since the 15th?

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#90213 - 10/31/10 05:17 PM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
essay
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/18/01
Posts: 1738

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I just read The Tell-Tale Heart, which I'd been meaning to do for some time. I have an extra, bittersweet reason for doing so. A schoolfriend of mine died at the beginning of this year. As I told several of our mutual friends at the time, I have a very vivid memory of her doing this story as a dramatic soliloquy in eighth grade. No one else seemed to remember it at all, which really surprises me, as it was very well done, especially for an eighth grader.
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#90214 - 11/01/10 08:35 AM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: essay]
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1895
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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essay, I'm sorry to hear about your friend, but revisiting "The Tell-Tale Heart" while thinking of her performance sounds like a lovely way to memorialize her.
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#90222 - 11/01/10 09:26 PM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
essay
Ching Shih


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Yes. It is surprising how vivid it all is to me. It's strange that no one else recalls it.
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#90232 - 11/02/10 10:01 PM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: essay]
CaitlinM2



Registered: 03/03/09
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I have no doubt that much of the reason for Poe's success with "tales of mystery and horror" (as my Complete Stories and Poems calls them) is his grasp of psychology. How he would have described his protagonists is an interesting question; I suppose he'd simply say they are mad. Certainly so in the case of "The Tell-Tale Heart," though I wonder how, or if, he'd qualify that. To contemporary eyes, the narrator shows hallmarks of schizophrenia, including aural hallucinations ("I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell." And, of course, the beating of the heart), the conviction that he is not mad despite knowing others would call him so, and the decision to kill the old man, whom he professes to love, because of his eye that "resembles that of a vulture" (but from the description sounds like cataracts).

LSUG, not quite an audiobook, but if you can lay hands on a copy, the CD Closed on Account of Rabies: Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe is fun - music and readings by actors and alternative-music types. I don't have a copy myself, but I bought it for a friend as a gift some years ago, and listened to a little bit of it with him (I recall "The Raven" read by Christopher Walken as appropriately eerie).

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#90281 - 11/16/10 05:11 PM Re: October 2010 Selection: Poe Stories [Re: CaitlinM2]
essay
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/18/01
Posts: 1738

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For those of you who read The Tell-Tale Heart--and really, if you haven't, it's so short that you could do it right, I thought you might be interested in this article I found in the Smithsonian about a real life crime in Salem that seemed to have been at least one inspiration for the story. I was looking at it in the laundromat, so didn't really do more than glance through it, but I think I'll get back to it.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/A-Murder-in-Salem.html

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