Category Archives: What’s up in Dundee?

About literary events in our town – post about experiences, share opinions and reviews, and inform others about what’s of interest for this city’s writers



So, here’s something I can’t just let slide by uncommented:
I was delighted to see that the Lunchtime Concert Series features a rendition of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven on October 20. However, speaking on behalf on my idol, the announcement in which this event is being advertised is a thorn in my side. For anybody who doesn’t like nitpicking, you might want to skip the following lines. For those who take pleasure in literary pedantry, enjoy.

So this is the sentence around which my annoyance revolves: “To coincide with Dundee Literary Festival, Ken Murray (narrator) and Graeme Stevenson (piano) will be performing The Raven, a meldorama [sic] based on Edgar Allan Poe’s story […]” – well then.
Firstly, and aside from the missing quotation marks, can you really perform “The Raven”? It’s not a play, it’s not a musical, and it’s not a Celine Dion song. I would hope for a recital at best. More strinkingly, what is a “meldorama”, and where would one find it? I actually quite enjoyed that neologism. Is it something like the Eldorado for melodramatists? A sanatorium for those addicted to meldonium? I know, it’s just a typo (or typoe?), but one of the more amusing ones I’ve read this week.
Last but absolutely not least, which Poe worshipper could ignore the most ignorant labelling of this brilliant piece of poetry as a “story”? Come on, people. I must say, the thought of “The Raven” being a prose piece made me laugh quite fiercely. How goddamn boring would it be to read a tale about a bird with very limited vocabulary sitting on a Greek bust in a dark room? That would hardly fill more than three quarters of a tormented page. Ahh, the joys of derision. That little article brightened up my morning significantly –  it’s almost as if there was a secret challenge about how many mistakes one can make in a three-line announcement.

Seriously though, it is my obvious obligation to go to that Lunchtime Concert.
And you can be sure I will be in the front row, meticulously following every syllable and mouthing along each word. I will let you know how it turns out, and whether the actual presentation will be as entertaining as the advert.