Horror Story Review: “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” by Edgar Allan Poe

@msiduri (5750)
United States
September 21, 2016 7:24am CST
The narrator of this sad little tale has been interested in mesmerism, or hypnosis, for some years. He wonders how would affect someone in articulo mortis, at the moment of death. After wondering about some of the consequences of such an act, he asks whether it can help delay the impending death. And if so, for how long? M. Ernest Valdemar, a friend whom he has hypnotized several times, is dying of "phthisis" (tuberculosis). M. Valdemar agrees to the experiment and is still willing when the time comes. The portrayal of Valdemar’s demise and its aftermath is brutal. For a while, Valdemar responds to the narrator’s mesmeric commands. He can speak, but it takes some effort. He’s been sleeping. The reader gets none Poe’s Annabelle Lee or Ligeia sentimentality here and poor Valdemar, who was only too willing to lend a helping hand to scientific inquiry—or whatever—soon tells everyone he’s dead. Seven months later, he gets to tell them he’s still dead. At the time, Poe’s wife Virginia was suffering from tuberculosis. She would die of it in 1847. This story had the unfortunate circumstance of accidentally on purpose of being published initially as factual. When push came to shove, Poe admitted it was a hoax, but not before the hopes of a number of people has been raised. This story is available from Project Gutenberg in the collection The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Vol. 2 and also as an audio book from Librivox: _____ Title: “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” Author: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) First published: The Broadway Journal December 20, 1845 Source: ISFDB
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2148
3 people like this
3 responses
@JohnRoberts (61066)
• Los Angeles, California
26 Sep 16
Poe was actually a violent rough story teller.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
27 Sep 16
Yes. But I can see his influence on another favorite of mine: H. P. Lovecraft.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (61066)
• Los Angeles, California
27 Sep 16
@msiduri Poe is practically the father of horror fiction.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
27 Sep 16
@JohnRoberts Yes, indeed.
@LadyDuck (171048)
• Switzerland
21 Sep 16
I remember that I saw a short Italian movie by this novel. The title was "Il caso Valdemar" (the Valdemar case) it was produced in Italy in 1936 by directors Gianni Hoepli and Ubaldo Magnaghi.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
21 Sep 16
That would be it. Not that I've seen the movie, but this has been adapted several times. Rather gory ending. It's supposed to have influenced H. P. Lovecraft, whose writings I love.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (171048)
• Switzerland
21 Sep 16
@msiduri Yes, there have been many remake of that movie. It is true that it has a gory ending.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
21 Sep 16
Well, that was a treat. Thanks for that!
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
21 Sep 16
I'm glad you like it. Ah, a job well done.
1 person likes this