Sunday, January 16, 2011
Review: The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe:
THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF M. VALDEMAR
by Edgar Allan Poe
Doubleday (1966), Hardcover, 832 pages
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar was first published in 1845.
The narrator is interested in hypnotism, and he is curious to know what effects hypnotism would have on a dying person. The narrator thinks of experimenting his idea with his friend Ernest Valdemar. Valdemar, who is dying of tuberculosis, accepts.
Valdemar is hypnotized and while in trance he tells to the narrator that he is dying and then that he is dead.
Finally the narrator decides to awaken Valdemar from hypnosis (?), but during the process Valdemar’s body decays into a liquid mass.
More than a story Poe is narrating an experiment, so it seems not one of the Poe’s best stories. Point of advice: instead of reading the story, watch the movie Tales of Terror with Vincent Price.