nullimmortalis July 16, 2019 at 2:00 pm
THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF M. VALDEMAR by Edgar Allan Poe
“The glassy roll of the eye was changed for that expression of uneasy inward examination which is never seen except in cases of sleep-waking,…”
Sleep-walking, too, for which I at first misread it, but, of course, Valdemar is described latterly as the sleep-waker. We never see him walking. He is too ill. I don’t need to adumbrate the story of this famous work, the halting of death by mesmerism. I will just observe that we read all manner of things about his face, and its apertures, the tongue, the eyes, the eyelids, the mouth, lips, the jaw, the teeth, and the noises and gruesome exudations therefrom, even from the eyes. But, ironically, in view of the previous story, there is nothing here at all about his nose, nor the noises therefrom, nor the more obvious exudations that normally the nose knows. As mention of the nose is thus studiously eschewed, one has to assume the “stertorous breathing” emanated from the mouth that figures so much in the description. Unless I accidentally missed a reference to his nose somewhere in it?
“Dr. D——— resolved at once to remain with the patient all night, while Dr. F——— took leave with a promise to return at daybreak. Mr. L———l and the nurses remained.”
The above is a copy and paste of Valdemar’s original real-time review by myself from HERE. And when just re-reading Valdemar today in a new real-time, it suddenly dawned on me that this story represents the essence of the state of NULL IMMORTALIS! — and how I have not realised this before is as incredible as the Valdemar story itself, a work that needs FACTS in its title to bring the truth of fiction into full force. It is now the essence, too, of the ‘Playing with Fire’ ‘imagination’ syndrome that ignited this very book and its sequence of works*… with the bringing of all these stories together in one volume possibly being Aickman’s most singular and dangerous achievement?!
My other previous reviews of Edgar Allan Poe works: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/tales-of-mystery-and-imagination-edgar-poe/
*The context of the whole of the above is here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/the-2nd-fontana-book-of-great-ghost-stories/