Metzengerstein by Edgar Allan Poe


Hatfields & McCoys meets Sleepy Hollow (Tim Burton’s movie, not the awful book or TV show).

Metzengerstein is Poe’s first published short story, and it was not good. Seven pages of confusing, and almost nonsensical, Hatfields and McCoys tale of two feuding families.

Why give it two stars instead of one? Wikipedia. Yeah, I shouldn’t have to resort to another source in order to understand the story, but I identified the important pieces but didn’t know how to put them together. Once I did, it all made sense.

Vengeance was had on the young head of the Metzengerstein by a manifestation of the dead Berlifitzing patriarch in the form of a demonic horse, who had previously resided (and moved) inside a tapestry. That kind of reminded me of the film adaption of Roald Dahl’s The Witches with girl living inside the painting.

Anyway, had this story been written more clearly, it would’ve been an awesome Halloween read. I loved the imagery of the horse’s gothic triumph at the end.

*Read in the Barnes & Noble leatherbound The Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe.

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4 thoughts on “Metzengerstein by Edgar Allan Poe

  1. I don’t agree with you. The principle of a short story is to tell the story with few details which allows to dream a lot. So, if Poe did’nt detailed a lot, it’s deliberate. And of course, we can also said why he has chosen the short story as dominant is his work whereas novel but this writer was talented, he’d write like a major.


    1. Louison, nowhere did I state that Metzengerstein wasn’t detailed enough. I love short stories, especially horror and fairy tales. One of my favourite poems is Poe’s The Raven. My problem here was that Metzengerstein wasn’t easy to understand.


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