Great White Snark: All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

Monday, October 11, 2010

All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

So, no Halloween blog would be complete without a selection of spooky stories. And who better to invoke but Mr. Edgar Allan Poe, the father of the detective story and Crown Prince of Creepiness?

I pretty much love Poe. I always have. Well, not always. But since about 7th grade I've been enamored with him and all his macabre scariness. I'm writing a paper about him this semester. It's awesome.

He wrote a lot of poems and short stories, and I love most of them. My favorites (and some of the most popular) are "The Cask of Amontillado" (about a guy who gets revenge by burying his nemesis alive in his family catacombs and just leaves him there), "The Masque of the Red Death" (technically about the plague/tuberculosis, but is about this creepy-ass masquerade party and some guy comes dressed AS the Red Death and then kills everyone), "Annabel Lee" (not spooky at all; it's an ode to a lost love), and "The Raven" (which I'm sure most of you have read, but is about this portentious bird that visits a guy and says "NEVERMORE." It's actually creepier than that. I'm just a bad summarizer).

Other really good ones include "The Purloined Letter", "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Pit and the Pendulum", and "The Tell-Tale Heart." To me, "The Tell-Tale Heart" is the absolute creepiest. It's so depraved and horrifying. I remember the first time I read it. I lay awake FOREVER that night thinking about it. It still creeps me out. *shudders*

If you're visual, here are some images:

What I love about Poe's stories is that they're not all out gory, grisly, slaughterhouse horror stories. They're eerie, psychological...subtle. It's the portrayal of humanity's weakness and depravity, the ironic use of words, the symbolism, that make Poe's stories so frightening. And they stick with you.

Also, here's what my paper's about. Everyone (namely the females, but also a brother) in Poe's life died of tuberculosis (a lung disease in which the victim coughs up blood). There are SO many little sly references to the disease in all of his works. See if you can find them. It's like Where's Waldo only more morbid. :)


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