Lunchtime read: Selected Tales

By now with not quite 200 pages of the book got through you get the feel of Poe, an inventive and dark writer, really must have had fun pushing the boundaries. He is able to come up with different styles and make up the rulebook as he goes along.

Highlights from The Colloquy of Monos and Una
This one is a bit of a struggle until near the end when it becomes clear that this is a conversation between two dead lovers that have been reunited in the spirit world. They say that the sign of a good writer is someone who can get into the head of a different character. Poe shows here with the description of the thoughts of a dying man and then a corpse that he is quite capable of going into any sort of territory.

Highlights from The Oval Portrait
A very short story but by now you recognise all the hallmarks of Poe – darkness, horror both against a sense of faded grandeur. A traveller pitches up at a chateaux for the night and a book on his pillow explains the history of the numerous pictures in the room. As the hours tick by he is struck by a small oval portrait of a woman. Picking up the guide book he reads that she married the painter of the picture and he agonised about her portrait for a long time and when it was finally finished the sitter had died.

More tomorrow…

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