VODKA O’CLOCK 1613
RECORDED AT STEAMPUNK WORLD’S FAIR 2016
CHRIS SEMTNER ON MADNESS AND EDGAR ALLAN POE
AMBER LOVE 28-JUNE-2016 My debut mystery novel, Cardiac Arrest, is available. Please go to patreon.com/amberunmasked to sponsor the show, the site, and my work. If you’re already a backer, please make sure you’ve adjusted your pledge for the new Per Month setup. Check out my full review and lots of pictures from SPWF at the recap post.
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EDGAR ALLAN POE AND MENTAL ILLNESS (“MADNESS”)
This episode was recorded live at Steampunk World’s Fair in Somerset, New Jersey. It’s run by Jeff Mach Events. The speaker for this panel is Chris Semtner, the curator of the Poe Museum. Semtner’s vocal quality is probably of the Vodka O’Clock recordings. He also used a lot of visual aides which audio listeners will unfortunately miss, but I posted a few so you get the idea.
THE TELL-TALE HEART was one of Poe’s short stories. It was published in 1843. He wasn’t the first to write about mental illness in fiction, but in Poe’s day there was a leap in progress. It began when asylums became more popular; then it was finally advanced when those practices evolved from torture to compassion, a reformation which began in France.
Semtner talked about the loves of Poe’s life and his rivals.
He also covered symptoms and methodologies that were in practice for diagnosing ailments. The methods included interpreting the shape of someone’s facial features and even ancestry. Being Irish or being an actress were grounds for diagnosing mental illness.
The era was a time that birthed the “not guilty by reason of insanity” defense in criminal law. People had their own ideas of what “insane” looked like: loud, erratic, not making sense. Yet some people were quiet, subdued, and could act “normal” for a while.
There was ample time for Q&A at the end. However, at this point in the recording, you’ll hear that audience members see the Q&A portion as being their time to be disrespectful and have their own conversations or worse yet, listen to their voicemail and return calls even from the second row.
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