Edgar Allan Poe. Poe. One of America’s first prominent story writers Inventor of the detective story Champion of the Gothic story tradition Supernatural occurrences Magical settings Evil, beauty, and love are all extreme Trend setter for horror stories for the next three centuries. .
Poe’s stories are typically written in the first person point of view, so the reader must follow the train of thought of an insane narrator
The question in the first person point of view is, can we trust the narrator?
Poe’s narrator discuss topics in minute detail to bring you into their world and expose you to their horrors
Also details the thoughts that haunted Poe throughout his life.
Placing personal experience in the hands of the protagonist (drinking)
A discussion on why people commit evil deeds- PERVERSENESS
The use of dashes to extend a morbid thought
The narrator’s inability to explain himself or the surrounding world- insanity and suspense
First person narrator’s obsession- black cat, teeth, eyes, etc.
Call me Ishmael. - Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
A screaming comes across the sky. - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973)
I am an invisible man. - Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)
This is the saddest story I have ever heard. - Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1915)
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. - William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)
I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man. - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground (1864; trans. Michael R. Katz)
I AM A SICK MAN.... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. I don't consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to respect medicine, anyway (I am well-educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am superstitious). No, I refuse to consult a doctor from spite. That you probably will not understand. Well, I understand it, though. Of course, I can't explain who it is precisely that I am mortifying in this case by my spite: I am perfectly well aware that I cannot "pay out" the doctors by not consulting them; I know better than anyone that by all this I am only injuring myself and no one else. But still, if I don't consult a doctor it is from spite. My liver is bad, well -- let it get worse!
I have been going on like that for a long time -- twenty years.
TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Today you are going to write like you are crazy, or Poe.
Focus on one thing in your writing, but be specific. If you choose a body part focus on a small portion of it- a mole, a finger or fingernail.
Describe the object in minute detail.
Use a 50/50 mix of complex (not compound) sentences and short 5-8 word sentences.
Utilize exclamation points in your short sentences.
Finally, use dashes in at least one sentence in place of commas or dashes to extend a horrifying thought.
Now you are going to be introduced to the thin line between love and evil obsession
Utilizing the same techniques from the previous slide, describe a pleasant or beautiful object, or body part
Take out exclamation points to make it less creepy.