Thursday, July 10, 2014

Librarians' Line-Up: Know Poe

Here at the Mentor Public Library we are doing a month of programming based on the one, the only: Edgar Allan Poe. "Know Poe" also involves a "One City, One Read" project where we are discussing some of Poe's works. (If you haven't already, you should pick up a free copy of the "Know Poe Anthology" at any branch of the library.)

So this month, our librarians are discussing their favorite Poe tales, the creepier the better. Enjoy!

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue"
Little known fact - while most people associate the detective story with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, it was actually Poe who developed the style with "The Murders in the Rue Morgue."  C. Auguste Dupin is called in to solve a baffling double murder where none of the witnesses can agree on what they believe to have transpired.  The solution is incredibly clever and I won't spoil it here, but it's safe to say you'll never guess it yourself!
~Meredith T.

"The Purloined Letter"
Poe essentially invented the figure of the amateur detective (even before the term had been coined) in the figure of C. Auguste Dupin. They’re all interesting, but “The Purloined Letter” is probably the best of the lot. It seems like such a simple story, but it has lots of hidden facets and meanings. You can read it as a tale of the cleverness of an amateur sleuth, but then you start thinking, “What was in the letter?” or “How does the Queen relate to the King?” and this opens up any number of other things. Poe’s narratives can be dark to the point of morbidity, but the Dupin stories are really a pleasure to read.
~John F.

"The Fall of the House of Usher"
A creepy story about a man visiting an ancient family who has met with ruin and the entombment of one of the family members. I wrote a creative paper on this story when I was in college. Its haunted walls and insidious chambers have crept into my thoughts many a time since reading it.
~Kristin M.

"The Tell-Tale Heart"
I love the fact that this story is super-creepy, but subtle. All of the information is revealed slowly, and at first you think the narrator is just being paranoid, but there's so much more to it than that! Also, it is near impossible to read this story without hearing the sound of a heartbeat. It is all about guilt and how that manifests in the narrator's life, which is pretty scary in and of itself.
~Cailey W.
The plague known as “The Red Death” has been spreading across the countryside, killing anyone it comes into contact with in less than half an hour. Despite the threat of death, Prince Prospero decides to throw a party, inviting thousands of people to a masquerade at his home. The guests barricade the doors, attempting to wait out the plague. At the stroke of midnight a mysterious figure appears. The figure approaches the Prince, killing him with just a look. The guests attack the figure and remove his mask, only to no face underneath. The plague was coming from inside the house!
~Marilyn W.

"The Raven"
This story brings back great high school memories for me. My sophomore English class had to memorize the first 5 stanzas. Then, on our weekly poetry day, we were REQUIRED to SHOUT the stanzas as loud as we could while in class. Doors slammed down the school hallway at least once a week. Awesome! (And, to this day I can still recite that poetry by heart. Forevermore.)
~Mary P.

My favorite Poe is "The Raven." It’s a great poem to hear read aloud. And it just so happens you’ll get a chance to do just that when our Poe impersonator comes on July 28!
~Amanda D.

What's your favorite Poe story? And don't forget to join us to talk about them!

We still have several Know Poe programs that you won't want to miss out on this month--including free films at Atlas Cinemas on Thursday evenings, a Poe writing class, and a children's Poe obstacle course!


No comments:

Post a Comment