Monday, 27 November 2006

Poe / Argento II

"Poe's major claim to fame is as the father of the short story. In November 1838 he published [...] 'How to Write a Blackwood Article'. This is a slight, rather wearying satire on the contemporary taste for 'sensation' stories, wherein the central character is found in a terrible predicament involving incarceration, torture or the threat of an awful death, his or her sensations as they happen being minutely described."

- John S. Whitly, Introduction to the Wordsworth Classics edition of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination.

What I think is interesting here is the line of descent this suggests, from this sensation story through to the early pre-narrative / Classical Hollywood style cinema of attractions and the sensation literature emphasised by Fritz Lang in relation to Dr Mabuse der Spieler, all the way to the attenuation of narrative logic in Argento in favour of the sensational and spectacular of the set-pieces.

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