Saturday, October 10, 2009
Poe Fridays (on Saturday)
This week's Poe assignment is the short story, Some Words with a Mummy - for reasons I don't understand, I'm not able to link to the full text right now, but if you google it, you can find it easy-peasy.
Here's the lowdown - our narrator has just finished gorging himself on roughly 4 pounds of dinner, and five bottles of stout, and is preparing himself for bed. A note comes from a friend to join him in the unmasking of a mummy - great pre-sleep entertainment. So our narrator hies himself over to the mummy, where much fun ensues. The men find out the mummy's name, and decide to shoot him with electricity to see what happens. Lo and behold, the mummy wakes up, and proceeds to give the men a schooling on Egyptology. The men, not to be outdone, challenge the mummy to a frantic game of whose period in history is superior - the men winning, of course, due to the great breakthrough that is the cough drop. Eventually, our narrator returns home to ponder the idea of becoming embalmed himself.
This story is obviously meant to be satirical, poking fun at the Egypt-mania of the mid-1800s, as well as the belief that modern technology is markedly superior to that of ancient times. It did cause me to chuckle a few times, but I don't think it will make my list of favorite Poe stories. I have a feeling this would have made a significant impact at the time it was written, and its humor would have made a lot more sense. Unfortunately, it just felt a bit dated - I could tell it was written in response to specific events of the time, and I don't think it holds up as well as many of Poe's other work.
Poe Fridays is hosted by Kristen at WeBeReading.