fredag den 10. december 2010

Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher, 1839

I have never read this famous old story before, but as I like other Poe stories, e.g. The Tell-tale Heart, I tried to download a free version to my Kindle.

The story is not crime, but a gothic mystery. It begins when Roderick Usher, the owner of the mysterious house, implores the narrator, an old friend, to visit him. Here is what he thinks on his return:

“I know not how it was – but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit.”

The house seems to be doomed as the Usher line is always on the verge of dying out, and Usher´s desperation seems to be brought about by the serious illness of his sister, lady Madeline. The narrator is no less shocked when he sees his old friend: “Surely, man had never before so terribly altered, in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher!”

There are some similarities with The Tell-tale Heart as Poe relies hevily on atmosphere and sinister characters. The Fall of The House of Usher did not capture my interest the same way as The Black Cat, a brilliant psychological mystery, however.

(A short post; I know - but I just got my brandnew MacBook yesterday - we are still struggling to get to know each other)
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10 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Ah, a new computer! That's always so exciting :-) even if there is an adjustment period. I agree with you, too, about The Black Cat. It's a wonderful psychological mystery that simply doesn't let go. I honestly didn't like Fall of the House of Usher as well, either.

Clarissa Draper sagde ...

I downloaded some Poe. I sure want to read the one about the Cat now. Thank you.
CD

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: a Mac is almost like learning it all from the beginning. I can see it is a great computer, but it takes some time to find your way round, restore all your files, programmes, bookmarks etc.

Clarissa: I think you´d enjoy The Black Cat. Terrific story with a great twist whereas Usher seems dated. Perhaps if one read it on a dark and stormy winter night?

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams sagde ...

I did enjoy Usher, although I haven't read it for ages. I liked the Gothic feel (but it's definitely dated), and Poe's frequent theme of madness was mixed in there, too. Not my favorite story of his, though--I liked "Tell Tale Heart," "Black Cat," and the one with the mental hospital...can't remember the name of it...Tar and Feather? Something like that?

Dorte H sagde ...

Elizabeth: perhaps I have just read too much brilliant modern crime fiction :D

Kelly sagde ...

I love Poe and have the complete works both in book format and on my iPhone.

I'm not sure if I've actually read The Fall of the House of Usher or if I just "know about it" ... if not, I'll have to read it for the RIP Challenge next year.

I have read The Black Cat, though, and my favorites are probably The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado. I love his poetry too, especially To One in Paradise and A Dream Within A Dream.

Dorte H sagde ...

Kelly: The Cask of Amontillado is also great. The only poem I have read is The Raven. I love that one.

Cathryn Grant sagde ...

You've inspired me to go back and read this story ... I read it years ago but can't remember it.

I'm not sure why I don't remember the story. I read the Tell-tale Heart when I was much younger and it's stayed with me my entire life. In fact, I think the Tell-tale Heart has subconsciously influenced my writing.

Dorte H sagde ...

Cathryn: well, perhaps you don´t remember because nothing much happens until the last page ;D

But I agree that Poe´s best work is excellent inspiration for a noir writer like you.

Cathryn Grant sagde ...

That would explain it! Maybe Poe helped make me a noir writer :)