October 18, 2006

Is Nothing Sacred?

I just adore some of the audio interpretations that came with our literature book, but I'm thinking that my students are more likely to crack up over innocent things when they hear it than when they read it.

Uhm...so is this part from Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" really got the snickers:

And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly --very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed.

The word "thrust" just about drove them over the edge, but then with the wrong combination of words. Geez!

I personally can't help but chuckle over the following lines:

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.

I love how nonchalantly the narrator delivers this part of the story. More than that, I love how our jaded students recoil in disgust. Ha! How I corrupt them in the name of good literature!

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