Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Cask of Amontillado and Other Bits and Pieces

Montresor coat of arms
All month I've been especially wanting to read Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado."  I don't know why that story popped into my head; I'm not a specially big fan of Poe or anything.  I do remember reading this story in 8th grade and hardly understanding a word of it, which was the case with all the Poe stories we read that year.  (No one explained, for example, what an MS. was, which made "MS. in a Bottle" kind of opaque, and I seem to have spent all of my school years under the impression that I couldn't ask questions.)

Anyway.  "The Cask of Amontillado" is the story of a perfect revenge-murder.  Very creepy and unsettling.  Montresor drops hints to Fortunato the whole time, but Fortunato does not heed the warning.  But everyone knows the story, so I don't have much to say about it.

I've also been reading a couple of other things; I'm most of the way through the story of the Caliph Vathek, though to be honest I'm skimming a bit.  It's nowhere near as good as The Italian.  I also started reading Isak Dinesen's Seven Gothic Tales, and wow, her writing really takes me back.  I am enjoying it a lot--the writing is gorgeous--but I seem to have misplaced the book for the moment.  I think I'd like to revisit all of Dinesen in the future.  

I would still quite like to take a look at Wieland, since it's a homegrown article.  But that won't fit into October.  And I really need to be reading Greek literature!  I've been working my way through Aristotle's Rhetoric, but my goodness it's dull.  I must get back to Herodotus.

2 comments:

Amy said...

I love Dinesen also--the Gothic Tales are very, very enjoyable, and if you like those you'd also like the Winter's Tales. I've got her Anecdotes of Destiny on my TBR list, too.

Jean said...

You're right--I do like the Winter's Tales! I think I own pretty much all of Dinesen's books, because I took a course on her at college. We read everything AFAIK. But I remember little, so I'm thinking I should revisit her works--as well as the other Scandinavian lit I studied back then.