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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Monday, October 18, 2010

Still my beating heart: another literary quiz

That last trick question seemed to generate a fair amount of interest, so I will present another one now. It happens that I will be giving a local presentation here in Broward County, Florida soon on the subject of this trick question, as part of a more general description of the methodology I have developed over the past six years of doing my literary sleuthing, to give encouragement to other independent scholars to give it a go, if they are so inclined. It only occurred to me a moment ago that it would make a good quiz question. Here it is:

What famous work of literature is covertly alluded to in Edgar Alan Poe’s classic story “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and what evidence can you provide to support the argument that such allusion was intentional on Poe’s part?

Hint: the title of Poe’s story is a clue to the answer, but you’d have to be a literary scholar with a pretty remarkable memory in order to pick up on that clue without a major assist from your computer.

As far as I have been able to determine from resources on the Net, no previous scholar has identified this allusion, even though, when you hear the answer, you may very well, as I did when I first saw it, slap your forehead and say “Doh!” for not seeing it before.

I will give the answer, if someone doesn’t get it first, by tomorrow (Tuesday) at Noon EST.

Cheers, ARNIE

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