Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Death of Edgar Allan Poe - The Memory Palace

The wonderful history podcast The Memory Palace (feed) has its strength mainly in its narrative force and in its short episodes. Nate DiMeo takes five minutes to tell small, humane, tales in history. Apart from history drama, one could also call it micro-history.

Micro-history is not necessarily lost in oceanic waves of the larger scheme of history. DiMeo shows this for example in his latest production This Ungainly Fowl. This is the story, as far as it can be reconstructed, of the last 24 hours in the life of Edgar Allan Poe. These hours are unrecorded and utterly unclear. It begins as Poe finds himself on a train to Baltimore and it ends as he is found dying in the street, in some other man's clothes. There are several theories as to what happened and The Memory Palace offers one of them.

Not only does this attempt to give an answer as to what might have happened to the great writer, but also tells a thing or two about daily life in contemporary US in general and in Baltimore specifically. This serves as an illustration and a tale that, no matter how small, touches relevance in the greater seas of history. This, for an otherwise fine history podcast to begin with, serves as a lot of extra credit. This podcast is worth following for everyone.

More The Memory Palace:
A Great Escape,
The Memory Palace,
Ferris Wheel and other historic experiences,
The hollow earth,
The Memory Palace - history narration.
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