Monday, September 14, 2009


This was the 60th story/book I've read this year.

Alas, my Edgar Allen Poe of the year. I'll probably go read another short story of his before the fall is out, maybe two. I have to keep up with my goal to read everything he's ever written/had published. But what better way to start out this goal with Metzengerstein? This was, after all, Poe's first short story to see print. The first publication let out to the masses. I wonder if he knew at that moment he would live on for years and years after his death as a literary celebrity.

What I enjoy about Poe is that his writing is so modern. Nearly two hundred years ago he had this story printed and yet when I read it I felt as if it could be easily made into a film. That Poe was giving directions and setting up the scene while giving a brief back story to satisfy the masses.

Poe doesn't go into specifics but his story could be translated to display the belief of metempsychosis, which is the belief that the soul of a living person is transferred into another living thing. The story involves a horse that appears after the Berlifizing home catches on fire. The leading character of the story, a young man who is the Baron of the Metzengerstein home, had a long rival with Berlifizing and when the horse is said to not have come from the neighbor the boy adopts the horse and tries to break the fiery animal in.

In many ways it appears the boy becomes obsessed with the horse, disappearing for long times and then showing up unannounced. But it isn't until his own home catches flames that the horse (with the boy riding) appears and runs directly into the flames- killing the boy.

Was the horse the soul of the neighbor Berlifizing? Did he finally beat out the Metzengersteins by possessing this horse and making it's rider obsess with it until he threw the rider into the flames of his own home?

A very short story yet very creepy, Metzengerstein will surely give you a quiver.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment!