Poevember

the return of Poevember!

edgar allan poeIT’S TIME.

FOR POEVEMBER!

What is Poevember, you ask? Allow me to explain.

Last year in my American Literature class I read my first Poe short story, and I was immediately hooked. To further explore the works of Edgar Allan Poe, I decided to dedicate the month of November to reading his stories and writing about them here on this blog. All of my reviews this month will be about his works, with the occasional regular book review sprinkled in. This month is also a good month for me to get ahead on some of my regular reading so I have more reviews for the upcoming future.

I was so busy with school last year that I only read a few short stories, but the ones I did end up reading were fantastic! You can check out my reviews of them here:

Have any suggestions of where I should start? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Poevember

Poevember: THE BLACK CAT

“For the most wild yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief.”

This story is very reminiscent of “The Tell-Tale Heart” in many aspects, including the narrator’s voice, the reiteration of a central idea, and the ending. As in the other story, the narrator was lacking a certain element of sanity, which is shown through his obsession with the black cat. The black cat is a reoccurring idea throughout the story, much like the white eye in “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Both stories had endings that shared similarities, such as the policemen coming to the house. (If I say any more than that I’ll be giving away too much.) However, despite the many similarities between these two stories they are different enough to still be enjoyable.

This story really made me realize what an amazing writer Poe was. Honestly, he was such a masterful storyteller! The way he narrates the story is absolutely brilliant, because it forces the reader to question whether or not he is reliable and trustworthy. Not only does he expose the manipulability of the narrator’s mind, but he does the same thing to the reader. It’s like his words find their way inside of our minds, grasp hold of our brains, and stubbornly refuse to let go. I mean, take a look at the first sentence of “The Black Cat” (aka the quote at the beginning of this post). IT’S GENIUS. The words flow together like water over rocks, and it’s just so flawless! The last part of it is my favorite, because it is one of the only things about the story that makes the narrator seem sort of sane. The fact that he is aware that his tale is unbelievable, that there is no real chance of convincing the reader otherwise, is a fact that a sane person might accept. Starting with sanity and then gradually becoming more and more insane is just brilliant. Poe truly was a fantastic writer.

Overall, I really really really REALLY enjoyed reading “The Black Cat.” It was creepy and suspenseful and the ending was completely unexpected. Comparing it with “The Tell-Tale Heart” was really interesting, yet this story is nevertheless unique and original.

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: ABSOLUTELY.

Yours,

HOLLY

Poevember

Poevember: THE TELL-TALE HEART

“True! –nervous –very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?”

This is the first piece of writing by Edgar Allen Poe that I have ever read, and I absolutely loved it. One thing that really spoke to me in this short story was the way it was narrated. the narrator tells the story like he is trying to convince someone (or himself) that he is not insane, that he is mentally stable and perfectly fine. The clever part of this that I really enjoyed is that as he tells his story and attempts to justify himself he unknowingly proves to the reader that he is indeed insane. His obsession with the man’s white eye as well as his violent solution to the so-called “problem” show that his sanity is not intact, and yet the narrator firmly believes the opposite. The narration was emotional and detailed and overall very well-written.

My favorite thing about this story was the ending. I won’t give it away, but I will say that it proved to me that the narrator is insane. It wraps up everything in a way that is both satisfactory and mysterious, and it is brilliantly clever. The narrator’s boastful demeanor and his obsession with the crime he has committed cause the scenario to backfire on him, which is why I think the ending is so fascinating. If he had only remained calm and kept it together, then everything most likely would have been fine. In a way he sabotaged himself.

Overall, “The Tell-Tale Heart” was a fantastic story and an excellent start to Poevember. Let’s hope Poe’s other stories are great as well!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely!

Yours,

HOLLY