King James Revision of Edgar Allen Poe

By Stephen. September 20th, 2010

The “opening quotation” of Narrative 4: The Hanger-On, is supposedly a quote from The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allen Poe. But a close look shows that it is not the actual quotation at all, but a bizarrely altered version. The attribution explains the change: Supposedly,this is the “King James Revision” of the story!

God seems to be the narrator, rather than Montressor (the man bricking in Fortunado in the original.) From my reading, this appears to be a depiction of God bricking us in with mortality and taking credit ¬†for giving us peace by killing us in the end. I read the “tiers” here as decades; we are supposed to imagine God blithely bricking us from the moment we are born. The victim (us, or Menniss) first notices what’s happening in his fifth decade, at which point he shakes his chains. God listens for a moment, and then goes on bricking. I supposed this means that we first notice we’re mortal in our 50′s. (That has certainly been the case for me.)

It’s a bizarre yet moving burlesque. We see here how beneath his humor Oxadrenals (for this has to be a product of that peculiar mind) is deeply serious.

But is he reliable? Can we trust him? Or would we in fact find greater security in the experienced, parental, aristocratic realpolitik of Soraya and the True Immortals?

I share the dilemma Kate speaks of.

Clearly Oxadrenals is trying to give us what we want. But is it what we need?

On the other hand, can we, in the modern world, allow an elite, no matter how wise, to choose for us and tell us what we can and cannot have? — Stephen


  1. Merlin says:

    “On the other hand, can we, in the modern world, allow an elite, no matter how wise, to choose for us…”?

    Well, here’s another idea. Go ahead and make “indefinite life extension” available to all, while removing all laws about crimes against self (or so-called crimes that facilitate self-injury) , then let those foolish enough to waste their gift through excessive behavior go ahead and do what they choose to do. After all, it’s their life.

  2. Observer says:

    Though the man, Menniss, leaves a lot of something to be desired, the portrayal of the story I must say I’m liking so far. It’s dark and humorous, both good qualities in a story. The man isn’t the most decent of creatures, but the narrative is interesting none the less.

    I don’t think anyone should be knocking Ox for his humor. Yes, his jokes may go too far at times, but I’ve always found people without a sense of humor to be boorish beings incapable of thinking about things from a well-rounded perspective. At least with humor, someone is taking the time to think of things in a creative fashion, and that is always something to be commended.

    Trust and reliability are things you learn about people as you get to know them. Trust is earned based on how reliable a person has come to be known for things…(Trust an actor to act, a painter to paint, and a banker to want your money…lol)…So, trust Ox to be Ox, S to be S, and trust in yourself to know what each of them are like.

  3. Flyss says:

    Merlin: The problem is that if people are immortal, population goes through the roof, and even people who make good choices etc. will be in big trouble. (If people wait a few generations to stop having children, for example, you’re talking a population of about 1.1 gazillion in no time. Water? Food? )

  4. Merlin says:

    Flyss – I must appologize. You got my point exactly, but didn’t realize I was using sarcasm to demonstrate it. As I said in the comments to the post immediately prior to this one, many experts already consider that our population is untenable due to the limits of what the planet can produce. If memory serves me, that was even a background issue in a Charlton Heston film in the early 1970′s – Soylent Green.

  5. c says:

    the higher , the population goes up, – more natural disasters occurring anyway. it’s a way of nature levelling it out and what it can handle. Same goes for some people who have been breeding in the same large family trees, their genes are getting weaker to handle all sort of challenges from the environment (eg. uv ray causing skin cancer, water and air pollution etc).. so they have to breed with someone of a diff race to create a stronger lineage(strong endurance and better looking too!) for future generations to be born

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