A Descent into the Maelström

The story is told by an Old Norwegian fisherman to a tourist at the top of a very tall mountain. The story of how he was caught during a storm in a maelstrom three years earlier with his brothers and how he survived. The old man recounts his ordeal that in less than a single day changed his hairs from a jetty black to white, weakened his limbs, and t unstrung his nerves. On a fishing trip with his brothers a storm arose fuelled by the most powerful and wicked hurricane that ever erupted from heaven caused their ship to be swept into an almighty vortex.

It is another of Poe’s stories that surprised me. I had thought all of his tales where dark gloomy affairs however this short story had none of the supernatural spooky atmosphere, rather a dark and powerful one set down by nature herself. A story within a story which is a literary technique that I have always enjoyed. It gives the reader the feeling that they are themselves on top of that mountain listening as the old man narrates his tale.  I was absorbed by this tale, drawn in with every page just as the maelstrom did the old fisherman, and like him I witnessed the horrors and wonders of this tale with a stupefied awe that I never expected from such a short story!


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