Friday, January 15, 2010

Poe Fridays: The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether

Welcome to our last Poe Fridays post!  For my final short story, I decided to go with a slightly humorous one -- The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.  If you would like to, you can read it here.

A young man is traveling through France and decides to stop at a private asylum for a tour.  He is excited to see the methods in action of this particular facility -- the so-called "system of soothing".  This is a method where the inmates are given free reign and are indulged and even encouraged in their lunacies.  He is a bit disappointed when he finds that the facility's method has been recently changed but is curious nevertheless.  The director offers to give him a tour after dinner but the young man becomes suspicious during dinner that he may already be on the tour as the other people at the table are a bit odd.  He eventually finds out that he doesn't even know the half of it.

This was a great story to wrap up my journey with Poe.  It was funny with a good dose of crazy.  So, be sure and leave a comment and let me know what Poe you chose to read this week!  Next week will have a summary post with links to all of the readings in case you are curious about anything we read.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Poe,


  1. Hi Kristen:

    I'm late to the party, as always, but over at my blog I jumped in on this last Poe Friday with an essay of his called "Instinct vs. Reason."

    I'm not sure if this is within whatever rules PF has--the piece is non-fiction--but I've been wanting to write about it for awhile now, because I think it's a little-known , but important work of his.

    Anyway, I think this was a great thing you did over this past year! I only wish I had known about it sooner.

  2. I'm a big fan of "Doctor Tarr & Professor Fether," so I'm glad you liked it.

    I delved into the poem "A Dream Within a Dream" this week with a close reading. Though not credited as one of his more sonorous poems (like "The Bells," etc.) it certainly flows with sound. Mostly, I'm trying to determine the difference between the two stanzas, and this whole "dream within a dream" thing. Ultimately, I love the ambiguity of it and how it makes me just a little sad, without knowing exactly why. Very Hawthorne-like.

  3. I have been so behind on all of these, but have been reading along with the intent of posting all my thoughts. I actually still plan to! Be watching for a big long post about it soon!!! :)

  4. I did finish up with The Masque of the Red Death - I have a weird affinity for that story.

    Thanks for hosting Poe Fridays this year - it's been an intriguing journey for me! =)

  5. Undine - Thank you for joining us -- even at the end of our journey. It's been great to read a wide variety of Poe's works over the past year.

    Rob - I loved A Dream Within a Dream as well. Thank you for participating!

    Tif - I will wait for your posts!

    Elizabeth - I'm so glad that you have been on this journey with me!