Review of “Hop-Frog” (1849)


Edgar Allan Poe (writer).

Read in 2022.

A court jester avenges an insult.

Poe apparently loved orangutans, using them in several stories, most famously “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841). This is made funnier by a dubious anecdote told by winchysteria about the academic study of American literature, in which a seminar full of “Poe stans” are shocked to hear a newcomer bring up orangutans in a conversation about racism in Poe’s work. “Hop-Frog” has no racial subtext to its orangutans. It is a predictable tale, but a good example of Poe’s stark evils without the tiresome bluster of some of his other stories.

text fiction