Home > E.A. Poe
…the shrieking beholder…
(If you know the artist of the comic, please leave a comment.)
In my first post about Edgar Allan Poe in Fiction I covered a comic and graphic novel . Today, the topic is two short stories by masters in the genre.
In ‘The Exiles’ from Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man , the year is 2120 and Poe lives on Mars with Ambrose Bierce, Shakespeare, Dickens, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Bram Stoker and all of their creations. Back on Earth, their works had been condemned as flights of fancy and were not to be tolerated. They were systematically destroyed by the rationalist governments of the world. Some copies were kept as mementos of a less enlightened time and it was the life in those books that kept the authors alive.
Now, men were coming to Mars–no doubt to destroy the planet just as they’d destroyed Earth–and Poe is having none of it. He rouses the others to invent the most terrifying creations to frighten the humans off. They’ve taken everything else, they shan’t have the final place they call home.
The descriptions are fantastic (in both senses of the word) and atmosphere is expertly rendered. The idea of gifted writers being able to create terrors out of thin air to do their bidding is a wonderful image and having multiple characters from famous authors participate (the witches from Macbeth, yes!) was brilliant. 10/10
A quote I particularly enjoyed: ‘Twenty nights I was stabbed, butchered, a screaming bat pinned to a surgical mat, a thing rotting underground in a black box; bad, wicked dreams. Our whole crew dreamed of witch-things and were-things, vampires and phantoms, things they couldn’t know anything about. Why? Because books on such ghastly subjects were destroyed a century ago. By law. Forbidden for anyone for own the grisly volumes.’ More quotes here .
‘Poe Posthumous’ the first story in Joyce Carol Oates’ Wild Nights: Stories about the last days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James and Hemingway, envisioned the final days Poe spent after escaping Baltimore to be a Lighthouse keeper and experience true solitude. I was expecting an attempt at filling in the blanks surrounding Poe’s actual death, which was quite mysterious , and, though it didn’t include the facts of the man’s death, Oates made his fictional death into something of which Lovecraft would have been proud. There were traces of Poe’s stories–the beloved pet that … doesn’t end well… madness, a journal, a startling revelation. 9/10
A quote: I am perfectly at ease with aloneness . As Pascal observed in the 139th Pensee: …all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.
This Diary shall record whether such a ‘truth’ is universal, or applies merely to the weak.
More quotes can be found under ‘ W ‘ for Wild Nights.
If you’re looking for something less horror and more historical fiction regarding Poe’s death, I highly recommend Matthew Pearl’s The Poe Shadow .
When I first learned of Poe Forevermore magazine I immediately thought, ‘I MUST HAVE THAT,’ accompanied by grabby hands.
Before getting on to the comments, I’d like to talk about the physical magazine. It’s beautiful. The covers are glossy with a nice weight and the pages are high-quality. (It also smells nice. Whilst reading I kept huffing the gutter…Which sounds so wrong, but my paper-smelling friends will know what I mean.)
On to the contents. The majority are stories that Poe himself would have likely chosen for a magazine of his own. (The full title is Poe Forevermore: Tales of Mystery & Imagination for good reason.) And they certainly live up to his legacy.
Of the short stories–Sherlock Holmes figures in two of them. Meeting Augustin Dupin in one (‘The Comfort of the Seine’ by Stephen Volk) and interacting with Oscar Wilde in the other (‘The Case of the Green Carnation’ by David Gerrold,which was the stand-out piece for me).
‘Conflagration Site’ by Stefan Grabinski, (translated by Miroslaw Lipinski for the first time) is an excellent haunted-house-with-a-twist story. It’s always nice to be introduced to a new author.
‘The Man From the Fires’ by Larry Blamire has a very Ray-Bradbury feel that was creepy and atmospheric.
There were two complete works of Poe’s: ‘Alone, ‘ (which is my favourite poem so thumbs up on that one) and ‘Berenice’, which had been annotated with factoids. The most interesting of which was the correct pronunciation of the titular character’s name–it’s four syllables and rhymes with ‘very spicy’.
Two of the non-fiction pieces were written by actresses who’ve played Berenice on stage. Those were eye-opening (and made me never want to be on stage in a coffin for an extended period of time.) Tony Tsendeas also wrote about playing Egaeus in the same play. Props to Mr Tsendeas for doing a 45 minute long monologue in that role. I’ve played characters with loads of lines, but nothing approaching that. Respect, my friend.
Rounding out the issue is an interview with the writer of the new Hitchcock film, Stephen Rebello. Rebello talks about his incredible journey through befriending Hitchcock, to writing his biography, to working on the screenplay, to being on set during filming. The sheer unlikelihood of a person being able to be involved in all of those things to the degree that he was is impressive.
Inside the back cover there’s a bit of Hitchcock talking about finding out about Poe and how it influenced his own work. It was a lovely way to wrap up the first issue.
TL;DR: The magazine is fantastic and I’m looking forward to more. As soon as I have gainful employment I’m getting a subscription, as subscribers get extra goodies that single-issue-at-a-time people do not. And if $10 seems too pricey for a periodical, you should know it’s the sort you’ll keep and re-read. It’s definitely worth it.
The bad thing about being far behind every other human in terms of media is that it can be difficult to avoid spoilers. The good thing is having your expectations lowered to the point of very, very rarely being disappointed and fairly frequently being pleasantly surprised.
Such is the case for The Raven, which was panned by Poe fans and critics.
Someone is killing people in the manner of some of the murders in Poe’s stories. It becomes obvious the person is trying to communicate directly with our man and he is the only one who can solve the case. This is bookended by Poe being found in a park, delirious and apparently inebriated, as an explanation of the man’s final, mysterious days.
Many scenes were nearly too dark to see what was happening, and, while I appreciate that they were trying to recreate the terror of walking into a gruesome crime scene with only gas lamps, I think the audience would have forgiven a couple extra lights.
Beyond that, it was typical suspense fare. The costumes were lovely and the sets worked well–the atmosphere would appeal to fans of Sleepy Hollow. 7/10 for period touches.
When I was twelve, we had to memorise a poem for English class and the teacher said if someone chose ‘The Raven’ they’d automatically get 100 percent. I was on it. It was a few months after I’d realised wearing all black meant never having to think about clothes reciting the entire poem–the class growing more incredulous with every stanza–solidified my status as creepy weirdo (now it’d be ‘goth’, I’m sure).
Aside from the grade (I got a 99 because I didn’t knock on the side of the podium when the titular bird did), I loved the atmosphere of the poem and carried around the book it was in [see the cover to the right] everywhere for at least a year like some sort of literary safety blanket. I may have been some sort of macabre freak who read too much, but Poe was on my side! My favourites were the gloomier stories (Usher, Red Death, and Silence: A Fable were my favourites). If it didn’t look like someone was going to go mad, die of some unnamed disease or just die horribly some other way I quickly lost interest.
I did reports on short stories in class the following two years (‘The Black Cat’ and ‘The Masque of the Red Death’) and freaked my classmates right out. It was brilliant. The second year we had to do something creative based on the story, so I made up an advert where you could buy tickets to the masque. I was a fun teenager.
Flash forward many years, and other macabre authors, and I came across Matthew Pearl’s The Poe Shadow , which hypothesizes about the events of Poe’s final days. [Incidentally, I picked it up because I'd loved Pearl's The Dante Club . You should read it. It's very good.] While writing this post, I came upon a page on Pearl’s website with bonus content for his novels. Now I want to re-read the book, and I may do once I’ve finished the two Poe bios I’m reading.
Reading Pearl’s book reminded me of the man who’d started me on my journey into the dark corners of literature and I picked up (read: got from Amazon for free) all five volumes of Poe’s fiction. I’ve now read all of them and my favourite quotes are here . I’m still adding some, but that’s a good portion.
Though I still prefer his horror stories, I can now appreciate his descriptions of nature in ‘The Landscape Garden’ and Arnheim, as well as find the humour in ‘Never Bet the Devil Your Head’ and ‘The Angel of the Odd’ amongst others.
Some of his short pieces were baffling, however, and I found this Wikipedia page with information on most of his short fiction to be very useful.
Once through the man’s work, I wanted more and began looking for novels and stories that featured Poe as a character. I’ll begin reviewing those next week.
This page has Arthur Rackham’s illustrations to Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination. I’d only known Rackham as a delicate water-colour fairy-painter, so seeing his other types of illustrations was an eye-opener.
Clarke’s illustrations of several Poe stories is here. While Clarke’s illustrations don’t always match the pictures in my head (see ‘Cask of Amontillado’ and ‘Pit and the Pendulum’), some perfectly complement the story (‘Tell Tale Heart’ and ‘Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar) while others are far more terrifying than what I’d imagined (‘Maelstrom’ and ‘Premature Burial’). Then there’s the WTF element of ‘Masque of the Red Death’. Did someone toilet paper the villain? Is that why he killed everyone? I don’t even…
Project Gutenberg has ‘The Raven’ with Manet’s illustrations . There are only a few, but it’s an important work.
My favourite is this:
PG comes through again, this time with Dore’s illustrations of ‘The Raven’
Encore Editions has quite a few (perhaps all?) of Dulac’s illustrations of some of Poe’s poetry. It was extremely difficult to choose what to post here, as every one deserves to be appreciated. But here are a few:
Today’s images are all Poe-centred. I only own one of these images (the one of the Raven and skull tattoo); if you know the artist of an unattributed piece, please leave a comment. Next Tuesday will be images of professional artists that illustrated Poe’s works. There are other images on the Poe Quotes page of this site.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people loved our man enough to get a tribute permanently inked into their skin.
This one is mine. It’s a double tribute to Poe (subject matter) and Tim Burton (style).
PDF of papercraft below: Little Eddie Papercraft
The papercraft shown below is: Poe’s Grave Papercraft [PDF]
The Masque of the Red Death and the first Fall of the House of Usher fan art pieces above could be used as wallpapers, as well as these:
Growing up, my peers thought me strange for liking creepy old Poe, but if I had lived in the Internet-age I would have been able to find like-minded individuals like Dahlia Jane, whose site, Upon a Midnight Dreary –though not exclusively about our man–will surely appeal to his fans. There’s an excellent post with instructions on how to put together an E.A. Poe costume , as well as an account of her visit to Baltimore .
Here are other sites I would have loved to have access to when a baby-goth:
Forevermore : A site devoted to Poe and recently launched a magazine of the same name, which I’ll review on Friday.
Edgar Allan Poe Museum : The site is not only full of useful information (and a nifty shop ), but it’s gorgeous. It also has information for both teachers and students of Poe–one of those sites you stumble across and wind up spending a couple hours on.
Knowing Poe : In competition with the previous entry for amount of useful information, Knowing Poe was created by a teacher with the aim of helping teenagers engage with Poe’s work. There are lots of questions to help students understand the fiction and poetry. The most useful things are an interactive timeline, videos and audio that puts Poe’s life and work into perspective against other literary works and historical events and examines his process. Another site in which you can get lost.
World of Poe : A blog devoted to our man because, as the author says, ‘ I have come to the firm conclusion that at least 90% of everything that has been published about the man is complete poppycock,’ which sounds about right. Posts are well-researched and written–I highly recommend it. (Though a darker theme wouldn’t hurt, as it’s a little bright on the eyes.)
Poe Baltimore : A site run by a non-profit organisation that will be taking over the Poe House and Museum in Baltimore, once it’s reopened sometime in 2013. A pretty bare bones site, but they can use your support!
The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore : Warning, this site has a cornea-scorching vibrant green background (green? really?). Once your eyes have adjusted–or you’ve donned a pair of sunglasses–the page is crammed full of useful information, lists, and links.
The Poe Decoder : In 2001, someone had the great idea of making a site to collect criticism and deconstruction of Poe’s work. Then they did nothing else. The few pieces that are on the site are interesting, though. Warning: This site will give you flashbacks to the late ’90s. All it needs is flashing gifs.
Poe Stories : A wonderful site that has all of his stories and some poetry (no essays or criticism, alas). It makes up for that by having a timeline of his life, and a gallery of images that includes Manet’s illustrations of ‘The Raven’
Edgar Allan Poe’s National Historic Site : The National Park Service’s site for the Edgar Allan Poe House in Philadelphia. Not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it serves its purpose of providing information about visiting the site. There are photos of exhibits and parts of the house. I’ve included it on this list for those interested in planning a trip or seeing the stairs in his home.
Poe was old-school even in his own time, tending towards overly-elaborate language no matter the audience–but modern fans can rediscover some of his work in a modern way through the iPoe apps for iOS.
They’re incredible, interactive versions of several of his stories and poems. The text is unedited, but there is music and artwork and elements controlled by the reader. Volume One ($1.99) contains ‘The Oval Portrait’, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ (which allows you to dismember the old man, whee!), ‘Annabel Lee’, and ‘The Masque of the Red Death’, as well as a brief biography and sketches from the making of the app. All of these are excellently rendered, though I think Red Death is my favourite. Early on, you can make a Raven peck out a bit of a corpse, (which I had to do a few times, giggling every time) and the final arrival to the party is delightfully creepy.
Volume Two ($2.99) contains ‘Hop-Frog’ and ‘The Black Cat’, with ‘The Raven’ being added at a later date. Bonus material includes The Edgar Allan Poe Route, featuring information about his haunts (apologies) and another sketchbook. The pages you read from are a bit more ornate in this one, but it felt like the illustrations were less interactive than the first volume. Part of that could be down to the fact that ‘Hop-Frog’ isn’t one of my favourite Poe stories, though the app brings it more alive to me than before. All of the selections in both collections are extremely well-done.
My only quibble is that you have to forward all the way to the end of the stories to loop back around to the beginning, rather than being able to access a menu after each tale. That aside, I’m looking forward to ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ though it’s quite long and don’t really expect it to appear.
Here is the tumblr account for the collections, which has illustrations both from the apps as well as other artists.
Other apps of interest to the Poe-ophile are hidden object games based on ‘ Murders in the Rue Morgue ‘, ‘ The Black Cat ‘, ‘ The Premature Burial ‘ and ‘ The Gold-Bug ‘. All four are made by ERS Games and distributed by Big Fish Games for the PC, though the first two are available for iPhone/iPod through iTunes.
I’m about halfway through ‘The Black Cat’ and it’s one of the best hidden object games I’ve played. Atmosphere, music, game play, story line, etc is outstanding. I have nothing bad to say about it. I’ve also started ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue,’ which is similarly engrossing.
You can play free demos of all four and then purchase the full game, if you’re hooked. Prices are a few dollars for the apps and up to $15 for the PC versions, though Big Fish usually has some offer on that will bring that down a bit.
[Some people can get the PC-only games to work on Linux with WINE, but I'm having the devil of a time making that happen. If it works I'll happily purchase both of the currently PC-locked games.]
I’ve looked at some other apps, none of which impressed, but if you find any with merit, please leave a comment.
Saturday next is the 204th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth so this week’s posts will be focusing on Mr Poe, the person who first opened my eyes to the wonderful darkness within.
First up, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, narrated by James Mason, released in 1953.
Next is the trailer for a stop-motion animation of ‘The Pit and Pendulum.’ The full film can be purchased here .
An animation of the Alan Parson’s Project song ‘The Raven’, which uses some of the poem as its lyrics.
Another Alan Parson’s Project song. This one is for ‘The Cask of Amontillado.’ (It’s a little annoying that they mispronounce ‘ Amontillado ,’ but the song is still good and the animation is nice.)
This is ‘The Raven’ read by James Earl Jones, set to ‘Moonlight Sonata’ and includes evocative photography as a slideshow.
Tim Burton’s ‘Vincent’, which references several of Poe’s works and is narrated by Vincent Price, who was an enormous fan of Poe.
And finally, this clever animation of Poe, attempting to shoot the introduction to his show ‘Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination.’
If you live in the world, you have to deal with other people. Some of those people are going to be awkward. Fear not! Lifehacker has given us: The Awkward Human Survival Guide , which has tips for coping with people who don’t know what to say/don’t know when to stop saying things/only know how to say the wrong things.
From the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum FB page:
The Poe Murders is a graphic retelling of many of Edgar Allan Poe’s mystery and horror stories meshed into a single tale. The stories included in this graphic-novel are: The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, The Purloined Letter, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven, as well as others. The graphic-novel will be told in the style of a mystery, in which the characters are searching for the mysterious source causing rational men and women to commit these horrific murders.
They have a limited time to raise the funds necessary; if you’d like to contribute for swell prizes go to their Indiegogo page .
TEDx is the body that licenses people to have TED-style talks in various parts of the world. When it came to the attention of the TED folks that some pseudoscience was making its way into these talks, they issued this letter, which is an excellent introduction to critical thinking. Hat tip to Lifehacker’s article: How to Avoid Bad Science in TED Talks
The Most Common Grammar Gaffes Writers Make and How to Avoid Them . Nothing particularly new on this list, though these are rules that bear repeating. The thing that most WTFd my face was the first line of the article, which was, ‘In 2011, the publisher of my book Enchantment could not fill an order for 500 e-book copies.’ How… ? I mean… Nope, ‘How…?’ is all I have
Speaking of writers, here are some beautiful posters of quotes from famous authors. All of them are elegant, but this is one of my favourites:
Charles Pierre Baudelaire (1821-1867) French poet most well-known for Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil) and the first person to translate Edgar Allan Poe’s work into French.
An aesthete and dandy, he believed (and practised) in the pleasures of the senses. This led him to possibly contract syphilis and gonorrhea. Oh well.
Like Virginia Woolf, he believed art should capture the small, ephemeral moments of life. Unlike Woolf, he was of an impressively cynical mindset and loved him some irony. Though a cynic, he also believed people were fundamentally good. (A view he and I share. They may seem to be diametrically opposed, but, though the world seems harsh and awful, we also believe that it can be better–that man has the capacity to improve and to rise above.)
Similarly to holding seemingly contradictory worldviews, The Flowers of Evil is both grotesque and beautiful with several poems focusing on the putrefaction of the physical body after death whilst carrying on to wax lyrical on the beauty of life. This could be stomach-churning to the faint of disposition, but makes sense in that one can’t fully appreciate life if one isn’t intensely aware of death.
The juxtaposition of death and living life vigorously–and lending a poetic beauty to both–is echoed in Nine Inch Nails lyrics. Reznor’s words can be nauseating but simultaneously truthful and evocative and can express both disgust and a deep affection for a woman, much like Baudelaire. Both have also been reviled by the masses as being immoral and disgusting, but celebrated by those aware of the true nature of existence.
When initially published, Les Fleurs du Mal was receiving well amongst the literary set though several poems were removed prior to publication being deemed obscene (including one about lesbianism). However, most of his work was published after his death.
My favourite thing about Baudelaire is that, when acquainted with Poe’s stories, he felt Poe was expressing thoughts in his own mind that had not fully formed. That feeling of intellectual companionship is something readers most look for, I think. We read to find people of our own views and whims, but who more beautifully articulate those views and whims. We read to find friends without regard to nationality or age. And I’m glad to have found a friend in good old Baudey.
Perfume: A Story of a Murder by Patrick Suskind
001. He despised technical details, because details meant difficulties and difficulties meant ruffling his composure, and he simply would not put up with that.
002. Man’s misfortune stems from the fact that he does not want to stay in the room where he belongs.
003. If ever anything in his life had kindled his enthusiasm—granted, not a visible enthusiasm but a hidden one, an excitement burning with a cold flame—then it was this…
004. Until now he had thought it was the world in general he wanted to squirm away from. But it was not the world, it was the people in it. You could live, so it seemed, in this world devoid of humanity.
005. … the plan unraveled in freedom, so to speak, as did all his other plans and intentions. Grenouille no longer wanted to go somewhere, but only to go away, away from human beings.
006. The world molded in lead, where nothing moved but the wind that fell sometimes like a shadow over the gray forests, and where nothing lived but the scent of the naked earth, was the only world he accepted, for it was much like the world of his soul.
007. He had withdrawn solely for his own personal pleasure, only to be near to himself. No longer distracted by anything external, he basked in his own existence and found it splendid. He lay in his stony crypt like his own corpse, hardly breathing, his heart hardly beating—and yet lived as intensively and dissolutely as ever a rake had lived in the wide world outside.
008. All at once great contentment came over him. Not a drunken one, as in the days when he had celebrated his lonely orgies in the bowels of the mountain, but a very cold and sober contentment, as befits awareness of one’s own power.
009. Grenouille sat at his ease on his bench in the cathedral of Saint-Pierre and smiled. His mood was not euphoric as he formed his plans to rule humankind. There was no mad flashings of the eye, no lunatic grimace passed over his face. He was not out of his mind, which was so clear and buoyant that he asked himself why he wanted to do it at all. And he said to himself that he wanted to do it because he was evil, thoroughly evil. And he smiled as he said it and was content. He looked quite innocent, like any happy person.
010. He took part in corporate life—in the regular meetings and processions of the journeymen—only just often enough as to be conspicuous neither by his absence nor by his presence. He had no friends or close acquaintances, but took careful pains not to be considered arrogant or a misfit. He left it to the other journeymen to find his society dull and unprofitable. He was a master in the art of spreading boredom and playing the clumsy fool—though never so egregiously that people might enjoy making fun of him or use him as the butt of some crude practical joke inside the guild. He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.
011. For he had renounced things all his life. But never once had he possessed and lost.
012. His soul was again dominated as usual by cold night, just what he needed for a frosty and clear conscious mind to be directed to the outside world…
Petropolis by Anya Ulinich
01. The past was pliable. Often the past was the only thing she could control.
The Photograph by Penelope Fitzgerald
001. He knows enough of the theories of long-term memory to identify his recognition of the mill and the hill fort as the practice of semantic memory—the retention of facts, language, knowledge, without reference to the context of their acquisition. He simply knows these things, along with everything else he knows that makes him a fully operational being—a being considerably more operational than most, in his view. Whereas the vision of Kath sparked by the kestrel is due to episodic memory, which is autobiographical and essential to people’s knowledge of their own identity. Without it we are untethered, we are souls in purgatory. Those glimmering episodes connect us with ourselves; they confirm our passage through life. They tell us who we are.
002. Once, Polly wanted her to be something else. She wished that Kath was her mother. This is no reflection on Elaine, it did not mean a repudiation of Elaine, it meant simply that Polly wanted to have Kath with her all of the time, in an attentive, available mother role. She remembers this longing and she remembers also an accompanying guilt; she knew she must not voice this need, least of all to Elaine.
003. This is a woman who is self-sufficient. Which does not imply egotism, or complacency, of indifference to others; just, she is one of those rare and perhaps blessed souls who are able to make their way through life without the need to be shored up by companionship, or dependents, or love.
004. In youth, Oliver was good at Latin. Occasionally a shred of Virgil or of Caesar can still float into his head. These days, he is haunted by lacrimae rerum—those plangent words. He remembers that the Latin master considered the phrase untranslatable. He would chalk it up on the board, with some suggested renderings; the pity of things, the tears of the world. “Not right, are they?” he would say. “A beautiful expression, the ultimate in poetry—and it has to be left as it is.”
The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl -01- …the place was littered with books, as though a library had collapsed and disbursed itself at will -02- Codes and symmetries are for those who think too much of thinking.
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
01. ”I think sex flows more sluggishly in all of us than we care to believe, especially men care to believe. The first adventures are usually nothing but a satisfying of curiosity, and after that one keeps repeating the same actions, trying to find—what?” “What?” Therese asked. “Is there a word? A friend, a companion, or maybe just a sharer. What good are words? i mean, I think people often try to find through sex, things that are much easier to find in other ways.” “What other ways?” “I think that’s for each person to find out.”
02. Therese failed to hear all of what Abby said next, or maybe it was another of the fragmentary sentences that Carol alone understood, but it made Carol straighten up and laugh, suddenly and hard, made her whole face change, and Therese thought with sudden envy, she could not make Carol laugh like that, but Abby could.
03. And she wondered, as she had wondered before, if Richard liked her only because she was more sympathetic with his ambitions than anyone else he happened to know now… Therese got up restlessly and went to the window. She loved the room—because it stayed the same and stayed in the same place—yet today she felt an impulse to burst from it. She was a different person from the one who had stood here three weeks ago. This morning she had awakened in Carol’s house. Carol was like a secret spreading through her, spreading through this house, too, like a light invisible to everyone but her.
04. An inarticulate anxiety, a desire to know , know anything, for certain, had jammed itself in her throat so for a moment she felt she could hardly breathe.
05. Therese answered as she always did, succinctly, and with the involuntary and absolute honesty that always depressed her afterward….Why did she let Mrs Robichek haunt her? And now she had spread it into Carol and could never take it back.
Purity by Douglas Clegg
001. …in many ways, we want the irrational and the tragic and the desperate, because they bring meaning and life back into our existences.
002. That’s what had happened when I was twelve and dedicated my soul to the god of dark places. By the time I was seventeen, I was a dedicated servant to the one I worshipped. And the only thing I asked of this divinity was: Give me Jenna.
003. Owen Crites looked to summer for one thing, and one thing only. It would be the arrival of Jenna Montgomery, and that would mean that his misery, his feeling of loneliness would vanish. It was a singular obsession of his. She was purity.
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