Tag Archives: Edgar Allan Poe

Crazy January Challenge – Project #8

Crazy January Challenge
Project #8: Quoth the raven… by Kincavel Krosses
Info: white 14-count aida; DMC 310

Just a quick stitching session this evening, but I managed to stitch the entire raven whilst watching a movie tonight. The raven is stitched in four strands for dense coverage, and I’m toying with the idea of the lettering in three strands and the lacy border in just two strands, to give different textures and coverage for more interest.

Come back tomorrow night to see project #9:
hot chocolate – liquid heaven…

A Month of Poe – The Fall of the House of Usher

Week three of reading Edgar Allan Poe is now over, and I have read The Fall of the House of Usher. Here are my thoughts on it…

This felt strikingly similar to Ligeia, with some unknown illness afflicting the characters which was supposed to make me feel some trepidation while reading. It did not. In fact, I found it incredibly dull, plodding and predictable.

This is, in my opinion, the worst of the three works by Poe that I have read this month and I am severely disappointed that even with my greatly reduced expectations, this failed to impress on any level.

I do not like Poe’s style of writing at all. I find him too wordy and repetitive, making any slight build-up of tension far too slow, rendering it ineffectual – I’ve yet to feel any horror or real suspense while reading Poe, which is a shame.

Perhaps my years of reading horror novels have rendered me immune to the genre, but I don’t think I was expecting too much in anticipating a few delightful shivers. Instead, I’ve found only boredom and the wish that I hadn’t bothered to read any of it.

However, I remain determined to complete my month of Poe, and hope that the shorter works (The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Raven) will leave a more positive impression on me. I already know the basic plot of The Masque of the Red Death, as I love the old movie starring Vincent Price, and I still harbour some hopes for The Raven, which is probably the most celebrated of Poe’s works.

A Month of Poe – Ligeia

Week two of reading Edgar Allan Poe is now over, and I have been reading Ligeia. Here are my thoughts on it…

Like The Pit and the Pendulum, Ligeia felt a little claustrophobic to me, with much of the action happening in one room, but it seemed there was precious little action and very little actual plot.

Once again, there were some chilling moments, such as the description of the narrator’s wives as they descend into death, but overall, I felt the story was lacking in real thrills, or even slight shivers.

Poe’s writing is completely failing to grip me.

It has been suggested by Elinas (see the questions and comments HERE) that my ambivalence towards Poe’s writing might be because it is “old-fashioned”. (THanks for leaving comments, by the way, Ellinas!) Fair enough, most of the books I read are more modern, but I do occasionally read and enjoy classics, and I adored Dracula (Bram Stoker), Camilla (J Sheridan Le Fanu), and Frankenstein (Mary Shelley) – all classic Gothic horror – and find them to be far more accessible in style. Poe’s use of language is just too flowery for my liking.

I wonder if I perhaps came to his works with my expectations raised to high and that has tainted my perception. With my expectations now considerably lowered, I hope I will enjoy this week’s choice a little more and perhaps it will give me the chill factor I’d so love.

I hope you will all join me in reading The Fall of the House of Usher.

If you’ve read along with me, I’d love to hear what you thought of Ligeia, so please leave a comment!

 

W… W… W… Wednesdays

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:
What are you currently reading?

Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe:
Love defies all obstacles in Edgar Allen Poe’s 1838 story Ligeia, though not in the way you might think. The tale’s narrator, a young man, is deeply in love with his beautiful wife Ligeia. She is bold and intelligent, a most unusual woman. Tragically, Ligeia dies suddenly one night. Before she breathes her last, Ligeia makes a cryptic statement to her devastated husband about the difference between life and death being a matter of sheer willpower. Not taking much comfort in his wife’s last words, the inconsolable man buries her and moves abroad. Years later, he comes to marry another woman, although not with the same sense of passion and connection that he enjoyed with Ligeia. When his second wife, Rowena, also dies unexpectedly, the narrator sadly wraps her cold and lifeless body in cloth, in preparation for the grave. To his great amazement, however, Rowena’s body seems to stir, as though somehow coming back to life. As only the bravest of readers will find, the narrator is in for a surprise that can only be called out of this world.

Join me for a month of mystery and thrills by Poe – information HERE.

I’m also still reading The Arabian Nights by Anonymous – I’m receiving this in installments direct to my email inbox from DailyLit.  There are 633 parts and as of this morning, I am up to part 60 (I get 4 parts sent every morning). As you can see, I have a long way to go yet, but it’s wonderful so far.

I’ve put Vanity Fair and Persuasion on the back burner for a little while and only reading them sporadically when the mood takes me (which, at the moment, isn’t very often, I’ll confess!).

What did you recently finish reading?
The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe. You can see what I thought of it HERE.

I’ve also just finished reading Denied by Pat Brien, which was rather unusual. You can see my review HERE.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I’ve been dying to get started on Remix by Lexi Revellian. I have a copy for review and it’s been waiting so patiently for me to finish Denied! I’m three chapters in and so far, so good – I hope it delivers…

A Month of Poe – The Pit and the Pendulum

So, my first week of reading Edgar Allan Poe is over and I have finished reading The Pit and the Pendulum. Here are my thoughts on it…

Poe is very good at relating the feeling of claustrophobia; it was very easy to put myself in that pit and feel the walls closing in on me, but I found his style rather verbose. I don’t know if it’s because I read the story in installments, but it felt like the story could have been told just as effectively in half the words. By the end, I was tiring of the tale a little, but it seemed to end very abruptly, which annoyed me somewhat.

I found some elements very chilling (the thought of getting the rats to do their work was rather nasty, despite the fact that I rather like rodents), but by modern standards, I found it a tad tame.

Overall, though, I enjoyed my first foray into Poe’s work and am looking forward to starting the second on my list – Ligeia.

If you’ve read along with me, I’d love to hear what you thought of The Pit and the Pendulum, so please leave a comment!

W… W… W… Wednesdays

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:
What are you currently reading?
I’m still reading exactly the same as I was last week, with one addition – I’ve started my month of Edgar Allan Poe (I’m getting it all in installments for free from DailyLit). You can get the running list HERE.

Anyway, I’ve started with The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allen Poe’s 1842 Pit and Pendulum is the story of a prisoner trapped in solitary confinement during the Spanish Inquisition. The prisoner’s cell is completely dark and, unable to make sense of his surroundings without light or sound, the prisoner collapses. When his eyes open, the prisoner makes a horrifying discovery. A deep and deadly pit lies at the center of the tiny space, promising certain death if the prisoner were to fall. As he contemplates this grim prospect, the prisoner notices something else he did not see before: a pendulum with a sinister blade swings sickeningly back and forth overhead. As we read on, we find that these two horrible threats are not the only ones the prisoner will have to face. How will he ever survive?

What did you recently finish reading?
Nothing this week…

What do you think you’ll read next?
Same answer as last week – Remix by Lexi Revellian

Don’t forget!

Don’t forget to nip along to DailyLit and sign up for the four Edgar Allan Poe choices to read along with me for a month of mystery and macabre delights.

The schedule is as follows:
1 – 7 Nov: The Pit and the Pendulum (7 installments)
8 – 14 Nov: Ligeia (7 installments)
15 – 22 Nov: The Fall of the House of Usher (8 installments)
23 – 29 Nov: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Raven (7 installments)

You can find the full details HERE.

Invitation to a month of thrills…

I thought I’d share with you all a wonderful resource I use regularly to read literature in small installments absolutely free. It’s called DailyLit and the installments are delivered daily to your email inbox so you can read good books, even if you only have a couple of minutes free to do so every day – fantastic for the busy reader on the hop!

Therefore, I cordially invite you all to a month of thrills with Edgar Allan Poe. Registration is absolutely free of charge and all the books I propose to read next month are also available gratis, so I hope you’ll all join me in this journey into mystery and macabre with one of the greatest and best-loved horror writers ever published.

At the end of each book, I’ll make a post about it and invite you all to share your thoughts on them too – whether in a brief comment or by linking to your own blog.

1 – 7 November:
The Pit and the Pendulum (7 installments)

Edgar Allen Poe’s 1842 Pit and Pendulum is the story of a prisoner trapped in solitary confinement during the Spanish Inquisition. The prisoner’s cell is completely dark and, unable to make sense of his surroundings without light or sound, the prisoner collapses. When his eyes open, the prisoner makes a horrifying discovery. A deep and deadly pit lies at the center of the tiny space, promising certain death if the prisoner were to fall. As he contemplates this grim prospect, the prisoner notices something else he did not see before: a pendulum with a sinister blade swings sickeningly back and forth overhead. As we read on, we find that these two horrible threats are not the only ones the prisoner will have to face. How will he ever survive? Sentence yourself, if you dare, to thrills and chills in this work by one of literature’s greatest horror writers.

8 – 14 November:
Ligeia (7 installments)
Love defies all obstacles in Edgar Allen Poe’s 1838 story Ligeia, though not in the way you might think. The tale’s narrator, a young man, is deeply in love with his beautiful wife Ligeia. She is bold and intelligent, a most unusual woman. Tragically, Ligeia dies suddenly one night. Before she breathes her last, Ligeia makes a cryptic statement to her devastated husband about the difference between life and death being a matter of sheer willpower. Not taking much comfort in his wife’s last words, the inconsolable man buries her and moves abroad. Years later, he comes to marry another woman, although not with the same sense of passion and connection that he enjoyed with Ligeia. When his second wife, Rowena, also dies unexpectedly, the narrator sadly wraps her cold and lifeless body in cloth, in preparation for the grave. To his great amazement, however, Rowena’s body seems to stir, as though somehow coming back to life. As only the bravest of readers will find, the narrator is in for a surprise that can only be called out of this world.

15 – 22 November:
The Fall of the House of Usher (8 installments)
The dead rise from their graves and a house inexplicably takes on a frightening life of its own in Poe’s chilling 1839 story The Fall of the House of Usher. An urgent letter summons a man to the home of a friend and his twin sister. Upon arrival, our narrator finds that both Usher siblings—Roderick and Madeline—are seriously ill. Trying to comfort them, the narrator trades stories with Roderick and listens to his unusual and eerie music. Tragically, Roderick informs the narrator one day that Madeline has died and insists that she be buried immediately. Not questioning his friend’s extreme haste, the narrator helps his friend to lay Madeline to rest. Neither man is able to shake a strange feeling that seems to pervade the entire house, however. Then, on a stormy night, they see a mysterious light emanating from the ground around them. The narrator tries to calm Usher’s fears, but as the reader soon finds, there will be no peace until after the shocking conclusion of this tale—celebrated as one of the greatest works of gothic fiction ever written.

23 – 29 November:
The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Raven (7 installments)
Enter the chilling, bizarre world of one of the original masters of horror with this “Poe-Pourri”–a collection of three of Edgar Allan Poe’s spookiest (and short) reads. First is “The Tell-Tale Heart,” which tells the story of one man’s cruelty and guilt–or is it madness?–over the course of one fateful evening. In “The Masque of the Red Death,” it is the fate of hundreds of revelers that is at stake. Dancing at a masquerade ball held in a secure castle, the party-goers think they are safe from the vicious plague that is ravaging the countryside. Not all is as it seems at this sublime party, however, and the threat of death stalks the halls at every turn. Finally, Poe’s poem “The Raven” traces a man’s journey from despair to madness. Beautifully musical and eerie, this poem is haunted by the Raven’s famous refrain: “Nevermore.” These, though, are stories you won’t soon forget.