Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Night's Plutonian Shore

Night's Plutonian Shore

I managed to spend time this morning jogging around the neighbourhood park today. Feel so much fresher after some exercise. If I don't sleep too late tonight, I'll probably try and wake up early for another session tomorrow morning.

My productivity today is about average. But the day is not done yet--I'm only taking a short break to deposit my random thoughts into cyberspace. There's another long night of work ahead.

Not sure what I'm going to write today but as usual I'll just ramble on until I hit a topic. Or maybe I'll pull out one of my books and see if I can dive into any interesting passages for inspiration...

Ah, let's talk about Poe. When I was a teenager, I loved reading Edgar Allan Poe. I still do. Every now and then I'll reread one of his Tales of Mystery and Imagination and immerse myself in one of his dark and atmospheric pieces. As a schoolboy, I had tried to imitate his style in my essays. My English teachers were of course not amused with my morbid imagery and ridiculously ornate sentences!

Some of my favourite stories by Poe include Berenice ("Misery is manifold. The wretchedness of the earth is multiform"), the Pit and the Pendulum ("I was sick -- sick unto death with that long agony"), The Cask of Amontillado ("I must not only punish but punish with impunity"), The Masque of the Red Death ("Blood was its Avatar and its seal --the redness and the horror of blood") and The Tell-Tale Heart ("here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"). Of course, the famous "Raven" poem is also a personal favourite of mine ("quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore'").

I've always been intrigued by Poe's masterful ability to blend sound and imagery in words to such great effect. It is sheer pleasure to read his works aloud. In fact I think both his prose and poems are meant to be read aloud.

In my computer notebook, I keep a copy of The Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection--a wonderful selection of his most popular stories, dramatized by the booming voices of Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone. No one could evoke the terror and mystery of his stories better than these two actors.

Now whenever I feel a bit weak and weary from working late into the night, I'd play my Poe audiobook and allow myself to be transported into his strange world--a phantasmagoric world so terrifying and yet so nostalgically familiar to me; and then all that wonderment of my boyhood years would come back; and slowly, I'd allow myself to drift deeper and deeper, into the dark and haunted recessess of my mind, into that nether-realm of half-conscious dreaming, into Night's Plutonian Shore...

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