A traveler, afflicted with a serious illness, stops in an abandoned castle for the night. To somehow pass the time, he looks at the pictures and reads descriptions to them in the volume found on the pillow.
Moving the candelabra, he suddenly sees in the niche of the room, until now hidden by shadows, an amazing picture – a portrait of a young girl. Something unknown and strange attracts the eye to the portrait and something as terrible – repels.
The story “In death – life” is the first version of the story “Oval Portrait”. Subsequently, the text was shortened by the author and published under the final title in 1845.
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Edgar Poe. a man who managed to become a legend and ancestor of the super popular genre detective. This alone would suffice for immortality. But for Po, the detective was just an experiment. To the full, his genius manifested itself in mysticism. His very name already
evokes a mystical chill. And this story, short and precise, like Pushkin’s prose, fully gives an idea of the creative credo of the author. He who managed to pour his own life into his own lines, as well as the hero of his story poured another’s life into his work. Maybe that’s why in our days, when the tomato juice of horror films is densely flowing from the screens, the stingy lines of Po pound to the bone, clutching the heart with an icy hand. Maybe this is life?
One of the most beautiful works of Po. In this short work, the theme of the sacrifice for the sake of art and selfishness, to a different degree characteristic of all creators, is fully revealed. The creative process can be cruel, but is the victim always justified? Will the death of the original cost if the life at the same time in all its expressiveness will move to the art canvas? A single-valued answer P does not give, every reader will draw conclusions himself.
In addition, the story is to some extent autobiographical: during the period when the “Oval Portrait” was written, Virginia, the author’s wife, was seriously ill and was bedridden.
Great story! In my opinion, it is much better than the “Oval Portrait”. Firstly, because the description is much more detailed, you can see the work, and not the bare unfinished idea (especially not the new one), as in the “portrait”. Secondly, the introduction pretty much explains (this opium nonsense with pictures), everything fell into place. Not the case when it is better – less.