Thursday, June 18, 2009

I was the smartest little white kid ever

Your book of the week this week is any collection you so choose of Edgar Allan Poe stories. The one I happen to be reading is called "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" and is leather bound and has one of those paper covers that started falling off right away and it doesn't even have a copyright date in it, but it has a pencilled in inscription with the price of 25 cents, so I'm guessing it's kind of old. Anyway, I don't know where this particular collection came from in our bookshelf, but I chose it because it's the one I haven't read, even though there are four others in our shelf I have read, and about half of the stories in this one I had already read, because I was a really really morbid child, as you probably figured out from this Way Back Tuesday installment. Anyway, in addition to reading all about real-life serial killers, I also liked reading about imaginary serial killers and other things that go bump in the night, so some of my favorite authors between the ages of about ten and fifteen were Stephen King, Bram Stoker, and Edgar Allan Poe. Re-reading Stephen King and Bram Stoker in adulthood I've realized that they were pretty gorey and I was a pretty sick kid. Re-reading Edgar Allan Poe I've realized that he's a fucking damn good writer and I was a legitimate genius.

Case in point, The Pit and the Pendulum, which was a personal favorite of mine, and which I had in a smaller collection along with The Gold Bug and The Raven and I liked to re-read on rainy, stormy days:

I was sick--sick unto death with that long agony; and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving me. The sentence--the dread sentence of death--was the last of distinct accentuation which reached my ears. After that, the sound of the inquisitorial voices seemed merged in one indeterminate hum. It conveyed to my soul the idea of revolution--perhaps from its association in fancy with the burr of a mill-wheel.
And, yeah. I was twelve. I wish I had continued along the same trajectory of smartness growth. Judging from that sentence I'd guess I actually went along some sort of parabola, and I'm on the downward part now.

But maybe there's still hope for you guys, and if you read some Poe you could get smarter. And more murderous. Let's build a band of murderous geniuses!



  1. I'm smart and murderous. Well, in a nice way. Sometimes.

    I took a creative writing class in college and one of my short stories almost made a girl in my class throw up. I felt accomplished.

  2. i have never written anything good, and i'd hate to think this is my apex, but can i join the gang anyway? i'll bring beer!

  3. Shine: Damn! I'm jealous! Can I read the vomit story?

    Jeff: If you have beer, you're in the gang. Beer gives us courage to do our murderous deeds.

  4. probably wouldn't make you vomit. You're made of tougher stuff.

    But it's possible I'll post it via a few blogs at some point.