I have downloaded “The Complete Tales and Poems” of Edgar Allan Poe, I don’t intend to read them all but I will read a few. I was inspired by Giorgi Shaduri who expounded on the craft of Edgar Allan Poe at a meeting of the English Language Exchange Club in Tbilisi. Giorgi’s favourite story is “The Cask of Amontillado“, a truly creepy tale of revenge.
After “The Cask of Amontillado“, I read “The Tell Tale Heart“, where the protagonist tries to justify his sanity after killing an old man. ” Then “The Gold Bug” about Mr. William Legrand, a recluse and entomologist, who finds a gold coloured bug, which leads him to search for the famed Captain Kidd’s buried treasure. Now I’m reading “The Pit and the Pendulum“, which has a very Kafkaesque vibe, I wonder if Kafka ever read Poe. The torturous dungeon of “The Pit and the Pendulum” reminds me of the torturous execution apparatus of “in the Penal Colony“.
Poe’s narrators are usually faceless, often crazy and unreliable. They might try to justify a murder they have committed to the reader, who is acting as their executioner, doctor or anachronistic psychiatrist.
Poe was an important figure in the Gothic genre, although Poe focused less on the traditional elements of gothic stories and more on the psychology of his characters as they often descended into madness. Poe really is a master of the dark arts.