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The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether


The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether is a dark comedy short story by the American author Edgar Allan Poe. The story begins with the narrator and his companion travelling through the countryside on horseback. As they travel, the narrator inquires about the Maison de Sante, which is a lunatic asylum. The asylum is a privately run institution under the control of Monsieur Maillard. The companion wants no part in the narrator's visit and offers to point him in the right direction but will continue to travel slowly so the narrator can catch up with him in a day or two. When they come upon the asylum, the exterior of the chateau is in very poor condition. The narrator is most curious to see the ''soothing system'' that Monsieur Maillard uses, which does not punish patients and allows them to wander freely over the premises. The narrator realizes that unfortunately, not just anyone might be welcome at such a place, so he expresses his dilemma to his companion, who offers to introduce him to Monsieur Maillard. The companion brings him to the entrance of the chateau, where they are met with Monsieur Maillard. Maillard recognizes the narrator's companion and greets him warmly, the two of them having met a few years prior. Maillard agrees to show the narrator around the premises and almost immediately the narrator's companion leaves. Inside the chateau, there is a woman playing the piano… You can listen online to free English audiobook “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether” by Edgar Allan Poe on our website.

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