October 7th, 2008

Edgar Allan Poe/Raven

Halloween Countdown, Day 7

Happy birthday to fory_san. May you have a wonderful day today and many more to come!

The school for which I teach, Belmont University, is hosting tonight's U.S. Town Hall Presidential Debate. If you happen to watch the event, you'll be seeing my campus.

On this day in 1849, Edgar Allan Poe died at the age of forty under mysterious circumstances. For more information, read "Mysterious for Evermore" by Matthew Pearl, an article on Poe's death from The Telegraph. Pearl is the author of a recent novel about the subject, The Poe Shadow. I read it last year and found it to be fascinating.

LINKS OF THE DAY: The following are some of my favorite links about Edgar Allan Poe:
* PoeStories.com: An Exploration of Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
* The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore
* The Poe Museum of Richmond

LITERATURE OF THE DAY: Today's reading is the work that Poe considered to be his best short story, "Ligeia."

Excerpt from "Ligeia" by Edgar Allan Poe:
An hour thus elapsed when (could it be possible?) I was a second time aware of some vague sound issuing from the region of the bed. I listened --in extremity of horror. The sound came again --it was a sigh. Rushing to the corpse, I saw --distinctly saw --a tremor upon the lips. In a minute afterward they relaxed, disclosing a bright line of the pearly teeth. Amazement now struggled in my bosom with the profound awe which had hitherto reigned there alone. I felt that my vision grew dim, that my reason wandered; and it was only by a violent effort that I at length succeeded in nerving myself to the task which duty thus once more had pointed out. There was now a partial glow upon the forehead and upon the cheek and throat; a perceptible warmth pervaded the whole frame; there was even a slight pulsation at the heart. The lady lived; and with redoubled ardor I betook myself to the task of restoration. I chafed and bathed the temples and the hands, and used every exertion which experience, and no little. medical reading, could suggest. But in vain. Suddenly, the color fled, the pulsation ceased, the lips resumed the expression of the dead, and, in an instant afterward, the whole body took upon itself the icy chilliness, the livid hue, the intense rigidity, the sunken outline, and all the loathsome peculiarities of that which has been, for many days, a tenant of the tomb.

Read the complete story.
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