The Complete Stories and Poems

The Complete Stories and Poems

Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, 1966 BCE. Hardcover with dust jacket, 821 pages, published by Doubleday & Company....

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Title:The Complete Stories and Poems
Author:Edgar Allan Poe
Rating:
ISBN:0385074077
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:821 pages

The Complete Stories and Poems Reviews

  • J.G. Keely
    May 26, 2007

    Not many people outside of literary study or detective fiction fandom realize that the character of Sherlock Holmes was inspired by Poe's Dupin. Dupin was the brilliant and insightful idle noble who occasionally aided the authorities in particularly difficult cases. However, unlike Holmes, Dupin took it up merely as a hobby, mimicking Holmes' brother Mycroft.

    I'm not fond of Poe's poetry. Emerson's leveling of 'Jingle Man' is appropriate. Poe puts sounds together, but usually says very little wit

    Not many people outside of literary study or detective fiction fandom realize that the character of Sherlock Holmes was inspired by Poe's Dupin. Dupin was the brilliant and insightful idle noble who occasionally aided the authorities in particularly difficult cases. However, unlike Holmes, Dupin took it up merely as a hobby, mimicking Holmes' brother Mycroft.

    I'm not fond of Poe's poetry. Emerson's leveling of 'Jingle Man' is appropriate. Poe puts sounds together, but usually says very little with them. It is unusual that his prose was so varied while his poetry tended to obsessive repetition. Poe presents an example of the turning point when poetry ceased to represent the most complex and dense literary form (as in Milton and Eliot) and became the most frivolous and unrefined (the beat poets), while prose moved contrarily from the light-hearted to the serious.

    When divorced from his single-minded prosody, Poe's mastery of the language elegantly serves the needs of mood, characterization, and action. This is not always the case: his Ligeia retains his poetic narrowness, but his detective stories have a gentleness and wit found nowhere else in his oeuvre.

    The three Dupin stories helped to inspire detective fiction, using suspense and convoluted mystery to tantalize and challenge the reader. He may not have been as influential or innovative as Wilkie Collins, but his contribution still stands.

    Any book of Poe's is worth purchasing simply for these three stories. They are studies in the careful use of language to develop mood, character, and drive--even in a sparse plot. They are not quite the equals of Ambrose Bierce's short fiction, but they are solid enough.

  • Mark
    Jan 04, 2008

    How could I not love this book? Shortly after reading Poe's complete works as a teenager, my family was transferred to Fort Monroe in southern Virginia. While waiting for permanent housing, I ended up staying in the house (and the very bedroom) that Poe had been in while he served on the base. Pulling out this book and reading it in the very space where Poe had suffered through depression and anxiety was exhilarating. While I realized the morbid nature of my glee, it somehow seemed appropriate a

    How could I not love this book? Shortly after reading Poe's complete works as a teenager, my family was transferred to Fort Monroe in southern Virginia. While waiting for permanent housing, I ended up staying in the house (and the very bedroom) that Poe had been in while he served on the base. Pulling out this book and reading it in the very space where Poe had suffered through depression and anxiety was exhilarating. While I realized the morbid nature of my glee, it somehow seemed appropriate as I lay awake at nights praying to hear that telltale ticking.

    As an adult, I have come to realize that my love of Poe's horror comes from the fact that he focuses not on the gore on modern horror, but rather on the shocking indelicacy of human potential. I sometimes think of him as the Gothic forefather of Anthony Robbins.

  • John Wiswell
    May 25, 2008

    Holy crap, it’s a brick of brilliance! This doorstop-sized volume contains the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. The poetry, the essays, the short stories – you got it here.

    Holy crap.

    Pick this up and skim a few of his works and you’ll know whether or not you want it. If you’re studying authors, though, why wouldn’t you get this? It gives you unparalleled access to the complete artistic thoughts of one of America’s most important early writers.

    In reading this I was surprised by how many good one

    Holy crap, it’s a brick of brilliance! This doorstop-sized volume contains the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. The poetry, the essays, the short stories – you got it here.

    Holy crap.

    Pick this up and skim a few of his works and you’ll know whether or not you want it. If you’re studying authors, though, why wouldn’t you get this? It gives you unparalleled access to the complete artistic thoughts of one of America’s most important early writers.

    In reading this I was surprised by how many good ones were in here. Previously I’d been assigned to read the terribly dated and melodramatic or borderline nonsensical Poe classics, like “The Raven” and “The Pit and the Pendulum.” But reading through his works freely I found a lot of variety and interesting stories I’d never heard of. “Hop Frog,” the revenge story of an abused dwarf. “Black Cat,” of a bizarre murder plot. “Annabel Lee,” of a lost beauty and the sea. Gothic thinking, careful plotting and macabre morality for hundreds of pages. Come and get your Poe.

  • Bailey Jane
    Nov 25, 2008

    Definitely not light reading, but perfect for the fall and winter. My grandmother bought this leatherbound collection for me when I was 12 or so and it took me 5 years or so to read it in its completion. I have to be in the mood to read Poe, but when I am it's the best reading in the world. Very dark and poetic. Great stories, and each story is just short enough to maintain attention span. I recommend this to anyone who appreciates a challenging read.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    Nov 17, 2009

    I'm not sure how screwed up Mr. Poe really was as I have read that a lot of the criticisms of him were exaggerated. But screwed up or not the man could write. Fears and tears all are here for the reader.

    I love Poe's writing. He's a voice that edges at times on madness (The Fall of the House of Usher) and sometimes IS the voice of madness (The Tell Tail Heart). Unlike the madness we find in H.P.Lovecraft Poe writes the actual man's madness. The madness of revenge for what may be a real or imagine

    I'm not sure how screwed up Mr. Poe really was as I have read that a lot of the criticisms of him were exaggerated. But screwed up or not the man could write. Fears and tears all are here for the reader.

    I love Poe's writing. He's a voice that edges at times on madness (The Fall of the House of Usher) and sometimes IS the voice of madness (The Tell Tail Heart). Unlike the madness we find in H.P.Lovecraft Poe writes the actual man's madness. The madness of revenge for what may be a real or imagined slight (The Cask of Amontillado) or the madness of obsession (The Premature Burial). Then again the madness may be in the situation or the act that the protagonist has to deal with. Here Poe originates the detective story (The Murders in the Rue Morgue) and his detective C. Auguste Dupin reappears later (in The Mystery of Marie Rogêt). Poe originated plots and plot points that were used and reused across the years (The Purloined Letter).

    I was introduced to Edgar Allen Poe when I was around 11 or 12 years old by a teacher at a small school in Tennessee (thank you Ms. Arnold) and have read him often ever since. If you haven't met Mr. Poe and his characters you have a great treat ahead.

    Edgar Allen Poe:

  • Arah-Lynda
    Sep 14, 2011

    The Master himself

    The Master himself

  • Bookworm Sean
    Feb 15, 2014

    This update has been a long time coming. I’m slowly working my way through Poe’s entire works, and I will post a separate review for each major short story as I go along. Many of them are so deep and profound that they each require their own review. I couldn’t possibly provide a fair review for his short stories in just one overall review; it would be to do them an injustice.

    So, there’s going to be lots of reviews of Edgar Allan Poe’s work popping up on my update feed over the next year or so.

    This update has been a long time coming. I’m slowly working my way through Poe’s entire works, and I will post a separate review for each major short story as I go along. Many of them are so deep and profound that they each require their own review. I couldn’t possibly provide a fair review for his short stories in just one overall review; it would be to do them an injustice.

    So, there’s going to be lots of reviews of Edgar Allan Poe’s work popping up on my update feed over the next year or so. Well, that’s how long I estimate it will take me to read the entire book. But, for now though, I thought I’d share a picture of my beautifully dark edition. It’s my favourite in this Barnes and Noble series, based upon its aesthetic quality, and that’s saying a lot considering I actually have twenty-four in the series now!

    Just to prove my claim:

    ...and the rest

    Well, I’m just showing off now, but I just wanted an excuse to share a pic of my growing collection. This is as good a time as any. There's a few from the folio society in there as well. Anyways, I'm going to go and read

    I'm so excited! Poe rules!

  • Councillor
    Oct 18, 2015

    Reading "The Complete Stories and Poems" will be a hell of a time-consuming project, but as I can feel honored to call Edgar Allan Poe one of my favorite authors, the only option to give his writing abilities justice is to read his stories and poems in their entirety. My intention is to update this review with my thoughts on all the stories and poems Poe has ever written constantly until I've completed my way through (however, I'll probably not always add it to my update feed in order to not spa

    Reading "The Complete Stories and Poems" will be a hell of a time-consuming project, but as I can feel honored to call Edgar Allan Poe one of my favorite authors, the only option to give his writing abilities justice is to read his stories and poems in their entirety. My intention is to update this review with my thoughts on all the stories and poems Poe has ever written constantly until I've completed my way through (however, I'll probably not always add it to my update feed in order to not spam other feeds), but it will be sporadic and infrequent due to my unpredictable reading moods.

    (4/5 stars)

    Being the first short story Poe has ever published,

    includes all the well-known aspects of his writing style which he has become so popular for. Quite disturbing, relying on speculative thoughts due to the narrative, a thought-provoking turning point and a deeper meaning which appears when thinking more precisely about the story. Poe has excellently explored the interesting concept of metempsychosis through this interesting short story which focuses on the feuds of two rivaling Hungarian families. [Please

    read the synopsis on the Goodreads book edition, since it spoils the story and its apparent meaning in their entirety.]

    (1/5 stars)

    Somehow, I find myself being glad that Edgar Allan Poe also came up with terribly-written stories like this one, so that I can still find reasons to criticize him. The fact that this was written partly in English, partly in French, was not so irritating as was the lack of anything resembling a plot.

    (1/5 stars)

    It's interesting to see how pointless some of Poe's early stories were. Trying to read them chronologically enables the reader to look behind Poe's writing process, and it definitely accentuates how much he improved his writing skills in the course of time.

    (4/5 stars)

    is one of Poe's most memorable stories so far. A short tale of love, studies, death, identity and dread, Poe managed to integrate me into the story and fix my attention on his words, only to leave me shattered and thunderstruck upon the final twist.

    (1/5 stars)

    I have no idea what to think of

    . It was boring, ridiculous and did not even include a message of its own. A story which can definitely be skipped without regretting it.

    (4,5/5 stars)

    One of my favorite Poe stories. In

    , it appears as though Poe wants his reader to know that not only does he masterfully write chilling horror stories, but also is he a romantic at heart. Combining elements of romance and horror, Poe wove a suspenseful story focusing on the mental health of a protagonist who has lost the love of his life.

    is a story I don't remember a lot of, so I'll definitely re-read it soon.

    (3/5 stars)

    With the creepy title and the horrifying premise - the narrator talking about a fishing trip with his two brothers which ended in chaos and turmoil years ago - I expected this story to be a little more frightening and engaging than it ultimately ended up to be. You will find Poe's classic style, though nothing extraordinary.

    (3,5/5 stars)

    One of the shortest stories of Poe's writing,

    focuses on a protagonist who finds a certain painting of a beautiful woman in an abandoned castle and discovers the frightening as well as disturbing background of this painting. Precise and meaningful, Poe's prose masterfully explores the sacrifices of art.

    (4/5 stars)

    is no story about plot or characters. It's a story about atmosphere, about mood, about the symbolisms of colorful descriptions. That's what Poe was able to write perfectly, and that's what I can recommend this story for.

    (5/5 stars)

    was the story through which I have had the pleasure to meet Edgar Allan Poe some years ago, and it proved to become one of the best short stories I've ever read. Basically, it's a murderer's confession, creating the impression of a mad narrator and raising the reader's interest in his arguments he builds up as part of his defense. As the story continues, Poe cleverly turns his reader from a witness of the events into a judge of guilt and innocence, a narrative structure admired by me.

    (4/5 stars)

    represents an exceptionally well-written, shocking and frightening story dealing with madness and human abysses. Being the most terrifying story I've read so far from Poe, this one can be highly recommended to be read.

    (3/5 stars)

    One of his shortest works, "

    " deals with the cholera epidemic and its influence. Not too disturbing or compelling, but definitely worth a glimpse.

    (3,5/5 stars)

    , the first story I've read as part of my intention to read all of Poe's works, deals with a man's creepy revenge upon an earlier friend who seemingly infuriated the narrator, motivating him to perform his fatal scheme of revenge. This one is not so much about the characters, but more about the atmosphere and the climax itself. Poe focuses on

    happens down there in the catacombs, not establishing

    it happens. The message: Do never,

    ,

    be so naive to enter some dark, creepy catacombs on another person's request without any witnesses. It might not end too well for your health.

    (5/5 stars)

    Do I need to add anything else to this quote?

    (4/5 stars)

    As short as Poe's poems are, he always succeeds with breathing life into his words.

  • Andrei Tamaş
    Feb 11, 2016

    Am fost în Ungaria medievală ("Metzengerstein"), pe lună ("Hans Phaall"), în Londra ("Regele ciumă"), Paris ("Crimele din Rue Morgue"), Norvegia ("O pogorâre în Maelstrom"), Italia ("Portretul oval") şi -în fine!- într-un ospiciu ("Sistemul doctorului Catran şi al profesorului Până"). Am râs, am rămas buimăcit, am trăit alături de personaje cu respiraţia luctuoasă. Am trecut -în fine!- prin zeci şi zeci de stări!

    O lugubră povestioară ce înfăţişează metempsihoza pe un fund

    Am fost în Ungaria medievală ("Metzengerstein"), pe lună ("Hans Phaall"), în Londra ("Regele ciumă"), Paris ("Crimele din Rue Morgue"), Norvegia ("O pogorâre în Maelstrom"), Italia ("Portretul oval") şi -în fine!- într-un ospiciu ("Sistemul doctorului Catran şi al profesorului Până"). Am râs, am rămas buimăcit, am trăit alături de personaje cu respiraţia luctuoasă. Am trecut -în fine!- prin zeci şi zeci de stări!

    O lugubră povestioară ce înfăţişează metempsihoza pe un fundal al Ungariei medievale.

    GROAZA şi FATALITATEA au stăpânit în toate timpurile.

    Un iz de aventură într-o expunere romanţată a relaţiei dintre supranatural şi coincidenţă explicată, aprioric, tot printr-o coincidenţă.

    "Îţi dai oare seama ce minunată întâmplare a fost faptul că toate aceste evenimente s-au petrecut în acea singură zi a anului în care a fost destul de frig ca să facem foc, şi că fără foc sau amestecul câinelui, tocmai în clipa aceea când a intrat, eu n-aş fi luat cunoştinţă de capul de mort şi, prin urmare, n-aş fi ajuns niciodată în stăpânirea comorii?"

    "E obişnuitul efect al coincidenţelor de acest fel, mintea se străduieşte să găsească un raport, o legătură de cauză şi efect şi, nefiind în stare să o facă, e izbită vremelnic de un fel de paralizie."

    A încerca să pui frână morţii uzând de concepţiile ştiinţifico-filosofice ale secolului XIX: Până acolo poate merge neagra şi nemărginita imaginaţie a lui Poe.

    Invenţia tehnică ce a pus pe jar fizicienii din secolul XVIII. Citind-o, mi-a pus la încercare spiritul de observaţie, făcându-mă să "disec" şi să fiu sceptic…

    Nişte pagini care, pe lângă faptul că m-au făcut să uit cu desăvârşire de "realitate", au trezit în mine spiritul de detectiv. O chestiune interesantă: deşi am fost extrem de atent astfel încât să pot anticipa crima şi făptaşul ei, am rămas buimăcit la aflarea verdictului dat de narator.

    No:).

    Fără doar şi poate, scrierea a stârnit vâlvă în epocă, descriind amănunţit (şi ştiinţific) originea balonului. Astăzi n-ar mai avea efectul scontat

    Dacă scopul prozei a fost umorul, Poe a eşuat…

    Un altfel de Poe.

    Mi-a stârnit câteva zâmbete.

    Artistul sacrifică totul pentru artă. "Nuvela" (după cum a fost denumită) este de factură romantică şi reprezintă o anomalie a Meşterului Manole în domeniul pictural. "El era o fire pasionată, studios, auster, care, de fapt, se căsătorise dinainte cu Arta. Ea, iubind şi îndrăgind totul; urând doar Arta care-i era rivală.

    Proză -după notă traducătorului- cu un caracter autobiografic. Poe se prezintă în antiteză cu alter ego-ul său personificat. Genială ideea! Un fel de proză precursoare pentru "Portretul lui Dorian Gray", numai că de dimensiuni mult mai mici. La fel ca şi în opera lui Wilde, Poe se căieşte în ultima clipă...

    O remarcă drăguţă: "Dacă există pe lume o tiranie deplină şi mai presus de oricare alta, e tirania minţii unui copil genial asupra tovarăşilor săi cu o minte mai puţin vioaie." Mi-e temă de meditaţie, căci mi-ar fi foarte lesne să înlocuiesc "copil" cu "om"...

    Poe, în această "proză scurtă de dimensiuni considerabile", a dat dovadă de o uluitoare imaginaţie (stimulată poate de opiu?!). Scrierea se prezintă la început ca o povestire, iar mai apoi ca un microroman epistolar.

    Scrisă în 1835, ea prezintă călătoria pe lună a unui anumit olandez numit Hans Phaall, iar -lucru extrem de curios!- prezintă informaţii care sunt demne de ştiinţa de astăzi. Pe mine unul m-a făcut să plutesc în balonul improvizat de Hans Phaall, m-a făcut să privesc Terra de la înălţime şi mi-a stimulat imaginaţia până dincolo de hotarele pe care credeam eu că le avea.

    Desigur, povestea este prin excelenţă neverosimilă (căci distanţa dintre Pământ şi lună este totuşi considerabilă şi nu poate fi parcursă cu un balon), dar textul trebuie cântărit literar, nu ştiinţific (cu toate că Poe dovedeşte o excelentă erudiţie).

    Un fel de fatalitate pozitivă…

    Fuga omului de moarte şi ghiarele nesăţioase ale acesteia.

    Un fel de alegorie romanţată. E prima dată când îl văd pe Poe aşa... comic.

    E pentru prima dată când văd la Poe, pe lângă latura obscură, latura romantismului suferind, concentrarea pe eul propriu. În "Ligeia" prezintă melancolia neagră a unei iubiri pierdute din pricina sabiei morţii şi aura metafizică a dragostei.

    Războiul dintre criminalul neprins şi conştiinţa sa. O proză premergătoare ca subiect romanului de valoare universală "Crimă şi pedeapsă". Titlul, metaforic, nu prezintă niciun dram de perversitate sexuală, ci intelectuală.

    Oricum, o introducere filosofică, asupra alter ego-ului, de toată frumuseţea!

    În incipitul scrierii, Poe insistă asupra relaţiei dintre fizică şi metafizică (şi asupra înclinaţiei oamenilor de a o explica pe ce-a de-a doua cu ajutorul principiilor celei dintâi), urmând ca apoi să înfăţişeze o lume în care metafizica (corelată cu divinitatea) să se arate că ceva ce nu poate fi explicat, dar care cere a fi simţit…

    O scriere etică, cu un caracter de basm (din care lipseşte însă intervenţia supranaturalului), a cărei morală este aceea că n-are nicio relevanţă dacă eşti rege sau "ultimul om de pe pământ". Cu toţii, de la împărat până la plebeu, trebuie să respectăm anumite norme de conduită, norme care ne-au făcut din animale oameni şi, dacă le neglijăm, tindem să regresăm.

    Bineînţeles că binele triumfă…

    Cred că e prima opera prin excelenţă romantică ce aparţine lui Poe pe care eu o citesc. Personaje excepţionale, hipersensibile, în situaţii excepţionale. Condiţia artistului şi moartea pentru causa prima: iubirea!

    Dacă Poe ar fi dezvoltat şi latura psihologică a personajului şi, prin urmare, ar fi făcut scrierea mai amplă, mai fluentă şi mai uşor de savurat, ar fi ieşit o capodoperă!

    Poe are o mare înclinaţie spre metafizica astronomică. În această proză prezintă, la persoana I, cazul unui somnambul care s-a pierdut în simboluri.

    1. "Încredinţat eu însumi, nu caut să conving pe alţii."

    2. "... fie că amintirea zilei trecute este durerea zilei de astăzi, fie că suferinţele clipei de faţă se obârşesc din extazele care AR FI PUTUT FI C NDVA."

    3. "Felurite sunt nenorocirile pe pământ."

    "Cea mai mare tortură cu putinţă -adevărata durere- nu este cea obştească, ci aceea de unul singur."

    Nuvela, structurată în două planuri narative -unul de tip ramă, iar celălalt funciarmente subiectiv- prezintă, în incipit, câteva cazuri din presă internaţională a secolului XIX de "îngropaţi de vii". A două parte prezintă subiectiv o experienţă a personajului-narator, suferind de catalepsie ("În tot ceea ce îndurăm nu era nicio suferinţă fizică, dar, în schimb, o durere morală fără seamăn. [...] Nu vorbeam decât de viermi, morminte şi epitafuri").

    Când am citit nuvela aceasta, am făcut o analogie cu Biblia, cartea de căpătai a creştinismului, eu fiind un om dintre aceia care nu priveşte Scriptura prin ochiul metaforic. Dar iată cât de mult m-a surprins relaţia dintre limbajul artistic şi limbajul denotativ de aici:

    1. "Un altul avea un braţ atât de lung încât putea să şadă la Damasc şi să scrie răvaş la Bagdad..." => Telegraful electric transmite ştirile instantaneu la orice distanţă, cel puţin pe pământ.

    2. "Ei avea viermi în creieri. Viermii aceştia, prin zvârcolirile şi răsucirile lor, slujeau fără doar şi poate să dea naştere celor mai minunate avânturi ale închipuirii." => Entozoa sau viermii intestinali s-au găsit de nenumărate ori în muşchi şi în substanţa cerebrală a omului.

    Pierre Bon-Bon este un filosof de veac XIX la care Poe, caracterizându-l, face aluzie prin "prea puţini sunt oamenii înzestraţi cu o nemaipomenită adâncime de gândire şi care să nu aibă în acelaşi timp înclinare spre băutură". Apoi, Poe face o reflecţie monumentală: "Şi dacă adâncimea de gândire e doar pricinuită şi stimulată de această înclinare, sau mai degrabă dovedită prin ea, iată un lucru gingaş şi greu de hotărât".

    Mie această proză scurtă mi-a adus aminte de două mari romane universale, "Doctor Faustus" şi "Maestrul şi Margareta", căci în paginile sale prezintă convorbirea unui filosof cu diavolul în vederea "cumpărării" sufletului în schimbul unui adevăr care are să-l facă celebru. Însă, bineînţeles, Pierre Bon-Bon este un filosof stoic şi "jocul pe degete" este reciproc, însă asta nu-l scuteşte de fatalitatea deciziei sale…

    Odioasă crimă şi răzbunare simbolista (sau sadică?)...

    Complexă psihologie poliţienească alături de (aproape miticul) Auguste Dupin.

    "... matematicianul argumentează cu adevărurile lui finite."

    Supranaturalul în habitatul lui!!! Motivul pisicii (şi negre!) în contrast cu nenorocirile naratorului.

    Ceea ce am remarcat la Poe, în toate scrierile în care naratorul înfăptuieşte o crimă, e dorinţa lui de a tăia cadavrul în bucăţi şi a-l îngropa sub podea sau în perete.

    Morella, după biografia lui Poe, este ea însăşi una dintre iubirile lui (însă nu a confirmat nimeni ceea ce a scris el aici despre destinul ei). Povestirea descrie un proces de metempsihoză aparte: trecerea sufletului mamei (moartă la naşterea copilei) în sufletul fiicei ei. Poe descrie simţământul de melancolie pe care avea să-l aibă la vederea copilei, aducându-i aminte, prin procese freudiene, fizic şi psihic, de mama ei, de iubita naratorului: "nume a cărui simplă amintire îmi trimitea de obicei şuvoaie de sânge clocotitor din tâmple până-n inima? Ce diavol a izbucnit din străfundurile sufletului meu, când, sub bolţile întunecoase, am şoptit la urechile cuviosului preot numele - Morella?"

    Memorie involuntară.

    Cea mai sumbră scriere a lui Poe citită de mine până acum. Aici descrie, la persoana I, o crimă înfăptuită din instinct (ca şi cum ai vrea să spargi ceasornicul care ticăie). Finalul covărşitor este dat nu de mustrarea de conştiinţa (după cum ne-am obişnuit), ci tocmai de motivaţia crimei: reversul instinctului.

    Nici n-am apucat să mă acomodez cu introducerea că am rămas surprins de ideea mistico-filosofică din final.

    Despre Poe nu mai are rost să se spună că e sumbru, însă această scriere depăşeşte limitele admise (stiu ca literatura nu are niciun fel de limite). Povestirea, cu nuanţă mitologică, are un iz din descrierea biblică (de factură iudaică):

    Era noapte, şi ploaia cădea. Şi căzând, era ploaie - dar după ce cădea, era sânge.

    Şi am blestemat cu blestemul tăcerii apa şi nuferii, şi vântul şi codrul, şi cerul şi trăsnetul, şi suspinele nuferilor.

    M-a ZĂPĂCIT!!! Nuvela asta este, par excellence, o metaforă!!! Nici n-am cuvinte să o descriu! E prima scriere-metaforă pe care o citesc! "Ochelarii", auzi?! am rămas complet buimăcit!

    "Era pe vremuri un fel de obicei să-ţi baţi joc de aşa-numitele iubiri fulgerătoare. Dar oamenii, atât cei ce cugetă, cât şi cei ce simt adânc şi cu putere, le-au luat întotdeauna apărarea. Într-adevăr, datorită noilor descoperiri în aşa-numitul magnetism etic sau estetica magnetică, pare că sentimentele umane cele mai fireşti şi, prin urmare, cele mai adevărate şi mai puternice, sunt acelea care-ţi încolţesc în suflet ca printr-un fluid de simpatie spontană, că -într-un cuvânt- legăturile sufleteşti cele mai nobile şi mai trainice să fie acelea ce s-au născut dintr-o singură privire."

    Ca în final toată această afirmaţie să fie dezminţită.

    Mi-a plăcut la nebunie! De foarte mult timp n-am mai evadat din realitate, intermediat fiind de o operă, aşa cum am făcut-o citind "Crimele din Rue Morgue". Desigur că multe sunt scrierile care intermediază o "evadare din realitate", însă aceasta nu e una oarecare: pe lângă evadarea din realitate, are acea aură stoică, descrie un spirit analitic parizian al secolului XIX: "Însuşirile minţii noastre, pe care le denumim analitice, nu prea sunt făcute pentru a fi supuse analizei."

    Încă o chestie evidenţiată frumos: deşi naraţiune subiectivă, la persoană I, naratorul este oarecum personaj secundar (ceea ce nu e de mirare, de altfel), în schimb se proiectează ca o minte deloc sclipitoare pe lângă Auguste Dupin, un spirit grozav de pragmatic, dar al cărui pragmatism analitic îşi are obârşia în latura singurătăţii (sunt acei oameni care studiază lucrurile din jurul lor cu o aptitudine uluitoare, deprinsă în urma meditaţiei în singurătate): "Una dintre ciudăţeniile prietenului meu era acea dragoste a lui pentru noapte."

    Oricum -că să nu ciopârtesc farmecul lecturii pentru cei ce vor a citi!-, microromanul înfăţişează o aura de mister ce planează în jurul unei crime. Şi, că tot e scrisă de Poe, finalul trebuie să fie desigur zdrobitor (dar fără niciun dram de supranatural de data aceasta!)...

    "Misterul Mariei Roget" este net inferioară nuvelei "Crimele din Rue Morgue". Ambele îl au ca protagoniste pe legendarul Auguste Dupin, ambele se bazează pe deducţii logice, ambele "anchete" pleacă de la nimic concret şi ajung să fie explicate pe zece căi lăturalnice.

    Lucrul interesant, specific acestei serii "criminale" (şi la propriu şi la figurat) e acela că autorul, Poe, da dovadă de o colosală erudiţie -îmbinând elemente ce aparţin unui cerc larg de ştiinţe, de sorginte reală şi umană deopotrivă. Ceea ce e "savuros", cel puţin pentru mine, e faptul că, deşi vizibilă această erudiţie, ea nu este deloc ostentativă, pedantă. Analizând-o îndeaproape, am observat că fiecare detaliu e la locul lui, iar nu pus acolo ca o dovadă a pedanteriei. Lipsind nuvela de elementul respectiv, cade tot firul. Acest fapt cere, din partea artistului, o muncă imensă.

    Ca în orice operă din seria Dupin, sunt prezente acele raţionamente logice romanţate. Se regăsesc atâtea presupuneri şi deducţii încât cititorul -fie el şi iniţiat- trebuie să citească de două ori paragraful pentru a fixa cum trebuie informaţia. Acest lucru dezvoltă spiritul de "anchetator".

    Un al treilea lucru interesant -şi vizibil aici mai mult decât în oricare operă din serie- este dedublarea personalităţii lui Dupin şi punerea ei în postura criminalului, uzând de presupoziţia "eu cum aş fi reacţionat dacă tocmai aş fi săvârşit crima în cauza?".

    "În ochii celor mulţi nu pare profund decât acela care le înfăţişează lucruri în contradicţie acută cu părerea tuturor."

    "Căci tribunalul, călăuzindu-se după principiile generale privitoare la dovezi, principii recunoscute şi legiferate, este departe de a se lasă influenţat de cazurile mai deosebite."

    E sumbru, e aproape strigător la cer cât de mult te poate influenţa o operă. Aceste proze scurte, aceste scrieri ale groazei şi ale grotescului nu-mi trezesc interesul direct într-un mod deosebit, dat fiind că relaţia mea cu supranaturalul e una şubredă, însă citirea lor inundă sufletul cititorului cu melancolie neagră.

    Mă gândesc adesea dacă nu cumva stările oamenilor, cele negative adică, nu sunt nimic altceva decât o rană care sângerează latent. Ştiu eu?! Ceea ce citim, ceea ce vedem, ceea ce auzim (şi nu dăm importantă)... Cred că toate acestea sunt o sămânţa în sufletul nostru, o sămânţa plantată la voia ei şi care încolţeşte în timp. Nu mă pasionează problema fatalismului de ordin supranatural (nu cel în stilul lui Poe), însă citind seria asta de scrieri mă simt că un om în alb-negru, iar tot ce este în jurul meu deprinde aceeaşi culoare.

    Problema noastră -sau, mă rog!, a unui cerc relativ restrâns de oameni, dar răsfirat- este, cred eu, aceea că, oricât ar nega-o cugetul nostru, noi simţim o voluptate de a suferi. Iar Poe, pe drept cuvânt, este un maestru în arta de a-i face pe alţii să sufere. Şi cel mai interesant fapt e că opera lui dăinuie tocmai prin asta.

    Cât despre scrierea în cauza, ea prezintă, sub un văl obscur, sensibilitatea lui Roderick Usher, ilustrată prin motto-ul lucrării astfel: "Mi-e inima o lira aninată,/ Când te-ai atins de ea răsună-ndată."

  • Ian
    Jan 25, 2017

    I was never exposed to Poe in my schooldays, but I later became aware of his reputation.

    I didn’t know anything about his writing, except that I expected it to be a kind of guilty pleasure.

    Apparently, I decided to address my ignorance in 1983, when I bought a second hand hardback copy of his complete tales for a bargain price of $1. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the step of reading it until now, when I chose it as one of three books that I planned to read on an overseas

    I was never exposed to Poe in my schooldays, but I later became aware of his reputation.

    I didn’t know anything about his writing, except that I expected it to be a kind of guilty pleasure.

    Apparently, I decided to address my ignorance in 1983, when I bought a second hand hardback copy of his complete tales for a bargain price of $1. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the step of reading it until now, when I chose it as one of three books that I planned to read on an overseas family holiday. As it turned out, I neither finished it nor started either of the other two books, and I read the last remaining stories on our return.

    I was aware that Poe specialised in mystery stories and that he had more or less invented the genre of detective fiction. What I didn’t know was that he also wrote relatively self-consciously in a metafictional sense. Not only did he invent a manner of writing, but he explained fairly insightfully what he was trying to accomplish, so that others could follow in his footsteps.

    Poe’s metafictional approach reminded me a lot of the early stories of Borges.

    The first story in this collection is

    which is more like a piece of science fiction (about a trip to the moon).

    It’s not quite clear to the characters whether the trip actually occurred. Thus, the purpose of the tale is to make us believe that it actually did. Poe’s task is therefore to convince us of its veracity. He does this stylistically by containing enough empirical and scientific evidence to persuade us that this level of detail could only be known if the narrator had actually experienced what he purported to have. Poe achieves

    Ironically, in an endnote, Poe differentiates his tale from earlier hoaxes (one of which adopts the tone of banter, the other being downright earnest). What differentiates his tale is that it is

    While he doesn’t say as much, it can be inferred that, if you can convince a reader that something is the truth, you are equally capable of perpetrating a hoax. This reminded me of the later quotation often attributed to Oscar Wilde:

    concerns the hunt for a buried treasure, the secret location of which is revealed in a coded map. What is concealed can be discovered, if the code is deciphered and the enigma solved. A logic is required to both encipher and decipher the message. The narrator comments:

    In

    a hoax is achieved by describing a voyage in

    Once again, credibility and credulity are both achieved by particularity and detail.

    In contrast, in

    the narrator detects that a paragraph in a newspaper detailing an invention is

    Ironically, what allows the narrator to come to this conclusion is an excess of particularity, which is not customary.

    commences:

    Given the tendency to doubt, the narrator calls into question the purpose of proof -

    Similarly, in

    The narrator addresses the

    disbelief by trying to relate the facts, based on contemporaneous notes,

    In

    Poe piggy-backs the credibility of “

    to tell (Scheherazade) and doubt (the king) various tales (like those in

    concerning the voyage of Sinbad around the globe on the back of a huge beast, including that of a petrified forest, and an underwater mountain

    all of which incredible stories concern natural phenomena that contemporary readers will know to exist. In less than 20 pages, Poe better achieves what John Barth would a century later devote an entire novel to.

    In contrast, in

    Poe describes the loss of a ship and most of its crew (the narrator survives) in the abyss created by

    in words ostensibly borrowed from the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, to which

    a detective story (in which Poe introduces M.Auguste Dupin), focusses on the process of detection, in particular, the role of rational analysis:

    This is a good description of how Poe goes about writing his tales, in particular

    But it also helps to understand the Post-Modernist preoccupation with maximalism, with size or length or quantity over subject or merit or quality. Poe himself adds:

    In other words, bullshit (and lots of it) baffles brains. These purportedly encyclopaedic fictions

    Poe asserts that

    On the other hand, Poe adds that

    concerns another death about two years later than those in the previous story. Despite the amount of factual evidence available to the press, it concerns itself primarily with

    Dupin puts the newspapers to the test and concludes that their assertions

    Poe also comments on judicial practice:

    Thus, Poe questions the role of reason and logic, not just in the process of detection, but in the creation of literature.

    Poe pursues the counter-intuitive in

    the facts of which Dupin describes as

    as well as a mystery that is

    The stolen letter has been concealed, but all logicał attempts to locate it have failed. Dupin comes to the conclusion that,

    In other words, the letter had been hidden in plain sight.

    is a Gothic tale concerning an attempt to conceal a murder that comes undone, i.e., another example of a failed concealment.

    The concealment tales are followed by a number of mistaken entombment tales, the first being “

    In

    it is the narrator who is entombed during the Inquisition:

    Poe describes near-death experiences in terms of the visionary:

    Poe continues into the realm of horror in

    Again, the narrator recites numerous real-life examples of such events to add to the veracity of his tale, before admitting that this event actually happened to him:

    Near-death is as close to death as we are able to experience and live to tell the tale.

    In

    the narrator entombs a friend without being detected. His friend rests in peace, even if the narrator doesn’t.

    In

    the narrator murders a friend, only to be plagued by the temptation to confess his crime. The spirit of the perverse condemns us to do what we should not, even if it threatens our own safety.

    In

    the narrator recounts a story about a painter who fell in love with a painting of his own wife, who perishes from his subsequent neglect.

    The narrator in

    also loses something of value over the matter of a painting:

    is another story in which the drive to confess to a crime prevails.

    In

    Poe returns to the difference between reason and the imagination:

    is another tale in which the narrator finds that he has killed a friend (his cousin) and been found out (this time without needing to confess).

    In

    memories of the narrator’s deceased love curse a subsequent relationship.

    witnesses life after death, but still highlights the ephemerality of life and beauty, and the terrors of death. The narrator suffers doubly from his opium-induced dreams.

    In contrast, the narrator of

    longs for the death of his eponymous wife, who eventually dies while giving birth to a daughter with the same name and characteristics.

    In

    Poe recognises the incredibility of his tale (set in ancient Egypt) by anticipating that some readers will disbelieve it and some will doubt it instead.

    comically cautions the reader against love at first sight, especially when you have less than perfect vision.

    plays with the format of a wife in a coffin.

    returns to the linguistic tricks of

    is a humorous tale of how the deceased victim manages to confront his murderer with his guilt.

    reprises

    only the mummy compares the current world unfavourably with his own world thousands of years before.

    For all Poe’s Gothic Romanticism, horror and humour, his metafictional objectives make his tales that much more interesting, entertaining and relevant to our time.