In his brief and unstable life Edgar Allan Poe created some of the most memorable works of American literature. As William Carlos Williams once wrote, "Poe gives the sense for the first time in America, that literature is serious, not a matter of courtesy but of truth." This essay sketches the life and work of Poe, paying special attention to his reception among other writers and critics.
On the day of his disappearance, Robert Wellfetch left a manuscript on his friend's front porch. That manuscript - reprinted here - tells an unsettling story in which the author is stalked by a mysterious stranger who seems intent on destroying his life.
Readers who have previously downloaded Lurikov's stories as individual e-books can now enjoy them together in a single volume for the first time. For those unfamiliar with Lurikov's work, this volume serves as an ideal introduction.
Although Arthur Conan Doyle is best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, he wanted to be remembered for his other achievements. "I have had a life which, for variety and romance, could hardly be exceeded," he wrote in his autobiography. "I have sampled every kind of human experience."
In this biographical essay, Robert Lark discusses Conan Doyle's life and literature.
"My uncle Oliver was a vain and petty man, prone to laziness and mild bouts of dipsomania. He honed his various shortcomings with blatant pride and devoted a good portion of his free time to devising new methods of misbehavior..."
So begins “Oliver the Abominable,” a three-part short story in which a reminiscent narrator recounts a few of the unforgettable experiences he shared with his uncle.
"Illusions" is a meditative work of short fiction by Matthew Avanton. It is divided into separate stories, some of which are exceedingly concise and distinct from the typical short story published today. Though the pieces can be appreciated individually, they are essentially parts of a whole. They portray, as Avanton says, a collection of separate memories forming an inseparable past.
A man accidentally discovers that the key to his apartment opens his neighbor’s apartment as well. Unable to resist the temptation, he starts spending time in his neighbor’s apartment while she is away. He eats her food, reads her books, and takes naps on her sofa. But as his behavior becomes increasingly inappropriate, the neighbor becomes suspicious, until at last a confrontation is unavoidable.
“Doctor Highlane” tells the story of a man in search of a cure for his peculiar condition. He goes to his childhood doctor for help, but instead of receiving medical treatment he is introduced to a world of late-night revelry in which the doctor is leading an outlandish double life.
A chance encounter with a stranger leads a man into a world of disturbing dreams. Soon reality begins to blur. Traces of his childhood inexplicably re-emerge, and he finds himself unable to separate the past, present, and future.
The discovery of an old photograph leads a man on a quest to find a woman he once loved. As he searches for her, he gradually comes to realize just how much of his past he had deliberately tried to forget.
Inspired by a poem by W.B. Yeats, “A Continual Farewell” is a story that seeks to uncover the elusive and misleading natures of our memories.
A man makes a modest living working at the library. He leads an uneventful life in a small apartment by the park. But then one day he is fired from his job. In the months that follow he is unable to find new work. Just as he reaches an unbearable state of desperation, he is offered $100,000 by a mysterious stranger. To earn the money, however, he must first commit a terrible crime.
“Diary of a Discontent” tells the story of a man who spends his days wandering through the city, spying on his beautiful neighbor, impersonating a college professor, and writing incendiary essays for the local newspaper—all the while dreaming of a pseudonymous existence. Through his diary entries, readers get an intimate glimpse at the workings of his eccentric mind.