March 20, 2013
Edgar Allen Poe’s, “The Angel of The Odd”
The Angel of the Odd is a short humor story written by Edgar Allen Poe. It was published in October of 1844 in Columbian Magazine. It tells the story of a man who, after reading of a strange death in the newspaper comments to himself on how he does not believe it. This draws the attention of the Angel of the Odd, a strange creature who punishes him with odd occurrences. One of the common conventions of older fiction that that can make it very difficult to read is that of accents. Writing out words phonically so that you can understand how they sound. This makes for a bit more personality in the character but it also can be, as in the case of the Angel of the Odd, very difficult to read. Perhaps that is part of the reason that this has largely fallen out of favor, though it also seems likely that the obsession with spelling that so many people have is a large part of it. People like to feel they are smarter and pointing out spelling 'errors' helps them do that, but they are often not smart enough to recognize when spelling is done differently intentionally. People also had more time to focus on a story and so having to stop and reads words phonically was not such an issue, and by the end of this story I could mostly read the speech of the angel of the odd without much trouble. The story really begins when the Angel of the Odd appears though The humor in this story comes largely in the list off strange occurrences which happen to the man once he irritated the angel of the odd. The angel itself looks like it is made of a keg and wine bottles. This is no doubt an allusion to the fact that a great many of the odd events happen while people are drunk. This story is reminiscent of the Darwin awards in many ways telling the stories of absurd ways to die and just as the stories which Poe was writing about a hundred and fifty years ago were so absurd that they...