Friday, August 14, 2009

Poe Fridays: Mesmeric Revelation

The short story I chose for this week's Poe Fridays is Mesmeric Revelation. You can read it here.

I'm having major internet issues and it doesn't stay up for any reasonable amount of time so this will be a quick analysis, hopefully with a window of connectivity to get it out to my fine readers ...

Poe, or the narrator "P", postulates that a person who has been mesmerized multiple times is able to sense things from another plane. He has a friend that he has been mesmerizing that is very ill (probably with tuberculosis) who thinks he has insight into the mystery of God and wants Poe to mesmerize him and ask some questions about God and the soul while he has access to the other plane. Thus begins a long and detailed discourse comparing matter and mind and well ... let's leave it to philosophers to debate what Poe states is true about the nature of God and man.

This was incredibly tiresome but so incredibly Poe. I always think of him as that irritating friend (we all have one unless, god forbid, you are that person!) who always acts like they know everything about anything. No matter what the subject, they will jump in and go off (sometimes in obvious wrong directions) until they have killed the conversation. This is how I imagine a drunk, boorish Poe on a bad night!

For next week, let's have some gory fun with the mesmerism topic and read the short story The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.

Taking philosophy out of the hands of drunks,


  1. I think that's the perfect way to describe this - the drunk friend who knows everything. Love it.

  2. That just helped me understand this story a whole lot better!