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The Black Cat

Edgar Allan Poe

C Meyer

on 16 September 2015

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Transcript of The Black Cat

born in
Edgar Allan Poe
The Black Cat
wrote most of his stories when he served in the army
the cause of his death is unknown
left college because he didn't have enough money for tuition
every home that Poe has lived in is now a museum
both parents died before he turned 3 years old
power and quality of his writing,
of his horror stories, made him a
Master of Tales
The Story
Connection to Newspapers
first printed in a newspaper on August 19, 1843
a newspaper is a perfect place for this story
this lurid tale reads like something right out of the headlines – bizarre headlines to be sure
gruesome news items were just as popular in Poe's time as they are in ours
like many news stories, "The Black Cat" can be a downer
The Story
domestic violence and brutal murder
death-row confession of nameless man who destroys himself, his wife, and his pets
we can't pinpoint exactly why he went out of control
Life Imitating Art
Poe = fascinating, popular reputation as a creepy guy
some imagine that Poe and his narrators are one in the same
Poe was no murderer
loving relationship with his wife
cat lover

when Poe died at age 40 in 1849, Griswold became Poe's self-declared biographer
Griswold distorted and sensationalized Poe's life
had a large part in creating a fictionalized Poe
The "Biographer"
we can never really know Poe
his letters, essays, and reviews speak for themselves
scholars look to his letters and personal writings to provide a more balanced view
The Real Poe
It's Still a Mystery
Still, much of Poe's short life is a mystery, and we just have to accept that fact.
Should I
Raise your hand if you like being scared.
Are you into riding roller coasters? Listening to ghost stories? Watching horror movies?
Recent scientific research suggests that people really, really love experiencing all sorts of pain as long as it's not actually going to harm them
Poe's Style
combined satisfying horror + commonplace of ordinary life
explored the nature of evil: where does it come from?
ordinary characters in an ordinary worlds
Ordinary Evil
more likely that all humans have a shred of this kind of evil inside them
Poe’s narrator is just a regular guy who commits violent acts for really no reason at all
Poe loved to tap into that masochistic vein that we all apparently share.
Poe practically created the genre of horror fiction: took the spookiness of an early genre called Gothic and gave it realistic slant.
Full transcript