Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Fall of the House of Usher
Usher is a short story in the horror genre written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1839, and included in a collection of his stories entitled Tales of the Grotesque and of the Arabesque, published the same year.
In the story the narrator describes his visit to the depressing and decaying home of his friend Roderick Usher, where he finds his friend and his friend's sister (briefly referred to) in a similar and puzzling state of decay. The title thus refers to both the Usher family and the physical structure as being the "House of Usher."
L. Sprague de Camp, in his Lovecraft: A Biography [p.246f], wrote that "[a]ccording to the late [Poe expert] Thomas O. Mabbott, [H.P.] Lovecraft, in 'Supernatural Horror,' solved a problem in the interpretation of Poe" by arguing that "Roderick Usher, his sister Madeleine, and the house all shared one common soul".
The story is also an interesting example of story within a story, where the reading of a fictitious "Mad Trist" by a "Sir Launcelot Canning" has a mystical influence on the happenings of the outer story.
Peter Hammill composed and recorded a opera based on the story.
- La Chute de la maison Usher (1928) by Jean Epstein
- The Fall of the House of Usher (1949)
- The Fall of the House of Usher (1960) by Roger Corman with Vincent Price
- The Fall of the House of Usher (1966) (TV)
- "Zánik domu Usheru" (The Fall of the House of Usher) (1981) (animated version)
- "Histoires extraordinaires: La chute de la maison Usher" (1981) (TV) with Mathieu Carričre
- The Fall of the House of Usher (1982) (TV) with Martin Landau and Ray Walston
- The House of Usher (1988) with Oliver Reed
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