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Thread: Poe Short Story Discussion Group

  1. #226
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    Yet, it's odd that the "direct testimony" points to the fear and horror in actual life when within the narrator's story real life is reassuring and it's fiction which makes him fearful. "The Premature Burial" inverts itself during the narrator's story. In the first few paragraphs, we're told that real life is horrid and scary, but fiction should steer away from horror. In the narrator's story that's turned upside down. The stories he reads spook him, and real life is reassuring. I suppose we're supposed to read the narrator's story as a perversion of way things should be. After all, it is a satire on him. But it's still odd that his memories and the real events of his life should be reassuring to him. Those should be what scares him if we interpret the "direct testimony" to mean that real life has terrors. The "direct testimony" proves that there are live burials in real life--as well as plagues and earthquakes. What do we make of his jubilant mood on the boat, then?
    I think the ending of the story reflects his actually coming face to face with his ultimate fear, and realizing that he had survived it. The thing that he dreaded most he experienced (or was momentary lead to believe he experienced) and he emerged from it alive, and well.

    In a way you can say that it is like the old saying, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. He tormented himself so much with the idea of being buried alive, but in the end he was in fact able to actually conquer the reality of it.

    After his experience he acknowledges that it is true that these dangers and fears do exist in real life, but he has the new awareness that one cannot live thier entire life being consumed by the fear, or by the possibility that the worse may happen.

    For after all his careful planning and preparation for just such an even of being buried alive, he found himself in a position where it came to nothing. In the movement where he believed he truly had been buried alive, but was denied his precious tomb. This event awakened him to the fact that he cannot control what may happen and even with the preparations he did create, it did nothing to quell is fear, he still lived in daily torment.

    I think it was also symbolic of being reborn and given a 2nd chance at life, to actually be able to live for once, as he spent so much of his past life wrapped up in death.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #227
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    I think the ending of the story reflects his actually coming face to face with his ultimate fear, and realizing that he had survived it. The thing that he dreaded most he experienced (or was momentary lead to believe he experienced) and he emerged from it alive, and well.

    In a way you can say that it is like the old saying, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. He tormented himself so much with the idea of being buried alive, but in the end he was in fact able to actually conquer the reality of it.

    After his experience he acknowledges that it is true that these dangers and fears do exist in real life, but he has the new awareness that one cannot live thier entire life being consumed by the fear, or by the possibility that the worse may happen.

    For after all his careful planning and preparation for just such an even of being buried alive, he found himself in a position where it came to nothing. In the movement where he believed he truly had been buried alive, but was denied his precious tomb. This event awakened him to the fact that he cannot control what may happen and even with the preparations he did create, it did nothing to quell is fear, he still lived in daily torment.

    I think it was also symbolic of being reborn and given a 2nd chance at life, to actually be able to live for once, as he spent so much of his past life wrapped up in death.
    Yeah, that's a good break-down of the boat episode. Generally, I think it's a little hard to believe that someone would forget where they were sleeping and assume they died, but, hey, it's Poe--fantastic, farfetched conclusions are par for the course.

    Oh, and I tried to rally some posters to the thread, but no one is returning my messages. Bastards. In any case, it's a good story.
    "Par instants je suis le Pauvre Navire
    [...] Par instants je meurs la mort du Pecheur
    [...] O mais! par instants"

    --"Birds in the Night" by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Join the discussion here: http://www.online-literature.com/for...5&goto=newpost

  3. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    Yeah, that's a good break-down of the boat episode. Generally, I think it's a little hard to believe that someone would forget where they were sleeping and assume they died, but, hey, it's Poe--fantastic, farfetched conclusions are par for the course.

    Oh, and I tried to rally some posters to the thread, but no one is returning my messages. Bastards. In any case, it's a good story.
    haha well I appreciate the effort. Poe does seem to be a tad underappreciated at least around here.

    Yes I can see where it might be a bit hard to believe that a person would wake up forgetting where they were or where they fell asleep, but then I think a lot of people do experience at times feelings of disorientation when waking in a new place, where you have a moment of temporarily forgetting where you are before your brain clicks on again.

    It can be seen as an exaggerated version of that, coupled with both the dreams he was having and his fear of death. He awakens a little disoriented, finds himself in a dark place that he does not immediately recognize, and is gripped in panic by his ever present fear.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #229
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    haha well I appreciate the effort. Poe does seem to be a tad underappreciated at least around here.
    Discussing literature is underappreciated around here, too. Even when erstwhile popular authors come up for reading, no one shows up. There was a Dante thread not too many moons ago, and everyone supposedly loves The Inferno so much they want to have sex with it. Yet, the discussion lasted maybe thirty posts. Disgusting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    Yes I can see where it might be a bit hard to believe that a person would wake up forgetting where they were or where they fell asleep, but then I think a lot of people do experience at times feelings of disorientation when waking in a new place, where you have a moment of temporarily forgetting where you are before your brain clicks on again.

    It can be seen as an exaggerated version of that, coupled with both the dreams he was having and his fear of death. He awakens a little disoriented, finds himself in a dark place that he does not immediately recognize, and is gripped in panic by his ever present fear.
    Yeah, I agree, and I'm not complaining. It was just a little funny.
    Last edited by Quark; 06-11-2010 at 11:02 PM.
    "Par instants je suis le Pauvre Navire
    [...] Par instants je meurs la mort du Pecheur
    [...] O mais! par instants"

    --"Birds in the Night" by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Join the discussion here: http://www.online-literature.com/for...5&goto=newpost

  5. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    Discussing literature is underappreciated around here, too. Even when erstwhile popular authors come up for reading, no one shows up. There was a Dante thread not too many moons ago, and Dante everyone supposedly loves The Inferno so much they want to have sex with it. Yet, the discussion lasted maybe thirty posts. Disgusting.
    That is hysterical. I am sorry though I was not around, or otherwise missed that discussion.

    But both the Lawrence and Chekov (sorry if I spelled that wrong) seemed to do well when they were up and running.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  6. #231
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    That is hysterical. I am sorry though I was not around, or otherwise missed that discussion.

    But both the Lawrence and Chekov (sorry if I spelled that wrong) seemed to do well when they were up and running.
    We'll have to do another Lawrence or Chek[h]ov (you couldn't google it?) story before the summer is through--if for no other reason, simply to restore my faith in LitNet.
    "Par instants je suis le Pauvre Navire
    [...] Par instants je meurs la mort du Pecheur
    [...] O mais! par instants"

    --"Birds in the Night" by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Join the discussion here: http://www.online-literature.com/for...5&goto=newpost

  7. #232
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    We'll have to do another Lawrence or Chek[h]ov (you couldn't google it?) story before the summer is through--if for no other reason, simply to restore my faith in LitNet.
    Honestly, I confess I was just being too lazy to look it up on google so I just took a guess.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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