Saturday, September 26, 2009

Poe Fridays (on Saturday)

This week's short story is The Premature Burial - basically, our narrator describes a few stories about people who have been buried alive and then, after describing his own condition in which he falls into near-catatonic states, relates his own fears about being buried alive.

I can't say this was my favorite of Poe's stories, but I can imagine at the time it was originally published it would have been horrifying. Apparently, there was a serious fear of being buried alive in the 19th century, and Poe was just capitalizing on it's popularity - there was even a Society for the Prevention of People Being Buried Alive. Seriously? Did it happen enough that there needed to be a society to prevent it? Thank goodness for modern medical science, I suppose.

I'm finding that Poe seems to have a couple of different "types" of stories - the ones with actual plot, and the ones that are more designed to "explain" something. I'm much more of a fan of the plot stories, which this unfortunately was not. But I have a sneaking suspicion these types of stories probably made him more money - funny how things end up working out that way.

Poe Fridays is hosted by Kristen at We Be Reading.

1 comment:

Kristen M. said...

I'm a bit claustrophobic (okay ... if my seatbelt locks up I start panicking) so the real life examples at the beginning were just as terrifying as the plotted story at the end.

I'm determined to research this premature burial thing now. I read the number "hundreds" somewhere ... really?!? I have to know for sure.