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August 1, 2018

3

Classic: E.A. Poe The Angel of the Odd

by N@ncy

 

Quickscan:

  1. A skeptic (narrator) does not believe coincidence can determine one’s fate.
  2. The Angel of the Odd wants to convince him he is wrong.
  3. After the narrator endures a series of “singular” events….he repents.

Main Characters: 

  1. Narrator (unnamed)
  2. Responding to an apparently absurd story in a newspaper,
  3. …complains about the contemptible hoaxing
  4. for the sake of providing interesting reading material.
  5. Irony: Poe complains about  hoax stories….but he writes
  6. …them himself! The Angel of the Odd is just one example!

 

  1. The Angel of the Odd
  2. Speaks with a humorous German accent.
  3. The accent was easy to listen to but more difficult to read!
  4. Why does Poe use a German  accent?
  5. Poe had a rather superficial knowledge of German culture.
  6. He kept mocking  the mystical trend of German philosophy.
  7. Poe thought that the Germans are “ranting and raving”.

Setting:   a den in disarray… similar to th state of mind of the narrator

Action:     jumble of improbable misfortunes

  1. narrator falls asleep
  2. house burns down
  3. failed to renew insurance.
  4. two marriage proposals are rejected
  5. attemps suicide in a river
  6. a drunken crow steal his pants
  7. a hot air balloon saves his life
  8. and bottles of Krichenwasser knock sense into him!

Irony:

  1. Is the angel a figment of the narrators imagination
  2. …a drunken hallucination?
  3. The narrator clearly thinks that he is real.
  4. The Angel of the Odd ironically does
  5. NOT protect the narrator…(guardian angel)
  6. …it CAUSES accidents.

Conclusion:

  1. While listening to the audio version  during my morning walk
  2. …I missed so much in the story.
  3. Perhaps I was not awake yet.
  4. The story came to life once I read it closely.
  5. Things that seem trivial are essential.
  6. What was Poe reading just before the angel appeared?
  7. Who are these authors?
  8. Is this just random list of books
  9. ….or did Poe purposely select them?
  10. The list includes three epic poems
  11. (the Leonidas, the Epigoniad, and the Columbiad)
  12. an American romance (Sicily)
  13. a travel book (Lamartine’s Voyage en Orient)
  14. a collection of literary gossip (Curiosities).
  15. Time to investigate….
  16. Trivia: the author of Sicily….once as literary editor
  17. …rejected Poe’s  “The Tell-Tale Heart”  Oops!

Last thoughts:

  1. When I listened to the story I shrugged it
  2. off as a amusing but trivial piece of writing.
  3. Now that I have researched it…
  4. I appreciate Poe’s writing skills.
  5. Just 12 pages….but this is a bizarre story
  6. with many allusions  to the reading list of books on page 1
  7. ….that should not be missed.
  8. #Classic!
  9. I’ve started reading one of my Classic Club books:
  10. The Complete Short Stories by E.A. Poe. (29)
  11. I want to extend my stay with Poe whose genius is
  12. …unquestionable. These stories need to be
  13. read, digested and reviewed …one at a time.
  14. It will take many weeks to finish this book
  15. on my morning walks…a story a day!
Read more from Classic, short story
3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 1 2018

    I read The Angel of the Odd for the #24in48 readathon back in 2015, when I read 24 stories instead of 24 hours. This was one of them. It wasn’t my favorite Poe story but, like you, I’ve noticed that, often, the more scrutiny you give his stories the more fascinating they become.

    I’d also recommend Peter Ackroyd’s short Poe Biography (Poe: A Life Cut Short) I blogged about it at https://bibliophilica.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/a-spark-of-genius-quenched-in-misery/

    Like

    Reply
    • Aug 1 2018

      Thanks so much for your comment. On the surface the story was mediocre…..but layered and just waiting to be discovered. E.A. Poe is a #ClassAct.
      I will have a look at your review of his biography!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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