Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tales: Berenice


(originally published March 1835 in Southern Literary Messenger)

The narrator, Egaeus, is a quiet, bookish young man who suffers from a type of ‘monomania’ in which he periodically intensely obsesses over small and trivial details. He becomes engaged to his beautiful, careless cousin Berenice, but Berenice becomes sick. She rapidly deteriorates until the only healthy and beautiful part of her remaining seems to be her teeth. Egaeus fixates on her teeth, and after Berenice dies, this fixation leads him to a strange and shockingly violent act.

Summary written by Taylor Colegrove, May 2011. Title links to the full text of the story.

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