“A Tale of the Ragged Mountains,” Edgar Allan Poe, 1844

A Tale of the Ragged Mountains,” Edgar Allan Poe, 1844 — The narrator makes the acquaintance of the curious Mr. Augustus Bedloe, a man of peculiar appearance and great attachmen to his physician and constant companion, Doctor Templeton.  Templeton is a convert of Mesmer and has apparently cured Bedloe of many ailments through magnetism.  Bedloe is a particularly imaginative person, perhaps due in part to copious doses of morphine.  One day Bedloe wanders into the woods and is missing for a stretch of time. Upon his return, he relates a story his companions assume to be a dream, a tale of adventure in India during the insurrection of Cheyte Sing in 1780.  Bedloe insists that the experience–which includes an out of body experience at the moment of death–was real.  Dr. Templeton reveals that he was present during this period at that he befriended a man named Oldeb; he produces a picture to prove that Oldeb and Bedlo share a striking resemblance, which is why Templeton was originally drawn to Bedloe and consented to become his physician.

Shortly afterward, Bedloe’s death notice is published. The narrator is surprised to find that a typographical error has resulted in the “e” being left off the man’s name: Bedlo, the reverse of Oldeb.  He marvels at this coincidence.

Comments:  See H. Bruce Franklin’s commentary in Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century.

Author: Wikipedia: “Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe, January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic.” Online text.  

Advertisements

About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1926 and earlier, dreams/hypnosis, drugs/pharma, physicians/medicine, psych/mind/madness, scientific ethics. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s