Mini-Challenge Fun: Interview with Becky

Poe was a performer who only knew how to play
the low notes of the piano…

The instructions for Nymeth’s Try Something New mini-challenge, which is part of Dewey’s Books Challenge, were to pair up with another blogger and then choose to read “something new, something you wouldn’t normally choose.” I paired up with Becky from Becky’s Book Reviews, and we decided to read short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, since this year marks his 200th birthday. Neither of us had spent much time reading Poe before, so it was interesting reading, and it was very nice for me to get to know Becky a little bit more through our exchanges. Here are Becky thoughts on the stories she read. To read my thoughts on the stories I chose, visit Becky’s blog.
A special THANK YOU to Nymeth for organizing and hosting this mini-challenge in memory of Dewey! 

Which ones did you read?
I read “The Tell Tale Heart“, “X-ing A Paragrab“, “The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade” and “Silence–A Fable.”

What did you think of what you read?
This was my second time reading “The Tell Tale Heart.” But all the others were new to me. (My past experience with Edgar Allen Poe was “The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Raven.”) I did appreciate “The Tell-Tale Heart” more the second time around.
I enjoyed most of the stories. Not in the traditional sense of the word “enjoy.” But I definitely appreciated the approach. Poe’s often warped sense or reality or warped sense of humor.

Were the stories you read similar to one another?
Not at all! “The Tell-Tale Heart” was full-out crazy. A brilliant but disturbing portrait of an insane man who was crazy long before the “beating” of the heart told on him.

“Silence–a Fable” was similarly atmospheric. But not in the crazy-man-on-the-loose way. It was haunting. Strange and beautiful and disconcerting all in one. I still feel I don’t “get” this one really. Yet I feel the desire to want to get it.

The other two stories were meant to be comical. I don’t know if either of them are laugh out loud funny. More warped sense of humor. For example, in “X-ing the Paragrab” dueling editors have a war of words so to speak. But when one man steals both the upper and lower case letter “O” then the printer replaces each ‘o’ with an ‘x’ …needless to say who had the last laugh there! In the other story, “The Thousand and Second Story of Scheherazade” Poe reveals the “real” ending to the 1001 Nights: Arabian Nights. This “little-known” conclusion reveals what happens when he becomes tired and weary of his wife’s storytelling prattling.

Were they what you expected them to be?
Yes and no. I thought they’d be weird. And recognizably Poe-ish. And two of them fell into that category. I didn’t expect Poe to have more than one angle, or more than one way of telling a story. I didn’t know to expect humor and satire and seemingly normal life observations. I liked that Poe didn’t have to be all-dark, all-the-time.


5 thoughts on “Mini-Challenge Fun: Interview with Becky

  1. Nymeth

    A special thank you to you and Chris, who inspired us all to remember Dewey in so many different ways.

    I haven’t read the last two stories Becky mentions, but I’m very curious now!


  2. Carl V.

    Absolutely adore E.A. Poe. He is certainly diverse in his writings and spending any amount of time with him you start to see just how talented he really was. I’m glad you spent a little time with him and hope you consider reading more of him…perhaps for R.I.P.!


  3. J.Danger

    ohhhh! I am taking an American Gothic class right now, and I we just started with Poe. Such an interesting man!


  4. Robin

    J.Danger, I envy you that class! I’d love to take an American Gothic class! And I’m going to have to read more Poe.



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