R.I.P. X Peril of the Short Story: Berenice by Edgar Allan Poe

source: personal copy
title: Berenice
author: Edgar Allan Poe
published: 1835
first line: MISERY is manifold.

My thoughts:
Berenice is a favorite short story by the master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

How is it that from beauty I have derived a type of unloveliness? – from the covenant of peace, a simile of sorrow? But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born.

A man named Egaeus narrates this one and he tells of his family and the mansion he lives in. His mother died in his home andΒ he was born there. He and his cousin Berenice grew up together and planned to marry, although he says he never really loved her.

During the brightest days of her unparalleled beauty, most surely I had never loved her. In the strange anomaly of my existence, feelings with me, had never been of the heart, and my passions always were of the mind.

Egaeus tells of periods of monomania that he goes through, obsessing for hours over things like a shadow or lamp flame. He falls into trance-like fugues during these times.

Berenice falls ill and the narrator begins to really obsess with her teeth. (Let me randomly mention now that teeth and eyeballs make my skin crawl.)

I won’t ruin the rest of the story with spoilers, but it creeps me out and every time I read it I get goosebumps.
Thank you Edgar Allen Poe. These short stores are perfect for dipping into during cool Fall evenings.

Read Berenice online for free here.

This has been part of R.I.P. X

13 thoughts on “R.I.P. X Peril of the Short Story: Berenice by Edgar Allan Poe

  1. It has been a long time since I have read this.

    I do remember it as being a worthy entry in Poe’s remarkable output. I also remember that this story contains another example of Poe’s remarkably odd dark protagonists.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Naida,

    I am having such trouble settling down and even finding time to attempt a full length novel these days, that the idea of the short story, is becoming more and more appealing! I shall be checking out and saving the link to the free online version of ‘Bernice’ and fitting it into my reading pile, so thanks for that link πŸ™‚

    I loved your personal interjection about your aversion to teeth and eye. I am fine with teeth and would in fact, much rather visit the dentist than the doctor any day of the week!

    Eyes however, are a totally different proposition altogether. I hate it if anyone even so much as goes near my eyes and can’t stomach even the simplest of requirements, like using eye-wash or eye-drops!

    Have a good week πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yvonne, I do recommend Berenice. I too have been in somewhat of a reading slump lately, but I blame mine on my crochet taking my attention away. I am going to have to borrow some books on audio from my library so that I can crochet and read at the same time.
      Oh gosh, I am so creeped out by teeth and eyes. Makes my skin crawl. The dentist! Oh no, I have anxiety over that. Something about eyes in scary films and books, I’ve gotten bad dreams about it in the past.
      Thanks for popping in and happy weekend πŸ™‚


  3. I feel like I must have read this one in school but I have to go re-read it because I can’t remember it and now I’m intrigued! Poe’s dark tales are so good and so perfect for R.I.P. aren’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It has been awhile since I read Poe and you are making me want to go dig into all of my old boxes for my copy of his stories. I haven’t read this story yet but I am intrigued now thanks to your review πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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