Saturday, June 6, 2009
Poe Fridays (on Saturday)
This week we read the short story, The Assignation.
Another unnamed narrator is floating down a canal in Venice of an evening, when he hears a loud scream, and sees a crowd gathered. A woman - the most beautiful woman in Venice - has dropped her child from her arms into the water. Many men are attempting to rescue the child, but all are unsuccessful. Suddenly, one more man jumps into the water, and returns with the child. The woman, overcome with gratitude, asks the man to meet her the next day.
Our narrator offers the man a ride home, which he accepts. He asks the narrator to return the next day to take him to meet the woman. When the narrator arrives the next morning, the man shows him his collection of treasures - beautiful paintings, sculptures, and art worth a vast sum of money. While browsing the man's collection, a servant rushes in to announce the woman has been found dead - poisoned! When the narrator hurries to the man's side, he finds him dead as well.
Oh, Poe, master of the melodramatic! This story leaves many questioned unanswered - did the woman and the man know each other previously? Why was the woman killed? Was it planned? Was the man also poisoned, or did he die from the shock of the news? Who was this strange, remarkable man, anyway? This story lost me a little bit in the pages of description of the man's treasures - I couldn't tell why that was important to the overall narrative. But the shocking death was certainly fun!
Next week, we will read the short story Diddling. That has to be fun, right? Poe Fridays is hosted by Kristen at WeBeReading.