Wassup Rockers

Happy Belated Birthday…

… To Edgar Allan Poe.

It’s not like I’ve been online that much, so I didn’t even know about Poe’s 200th birthday until I read about it on Moleskine Literario. Not that I read Poe on a regular basis, but I have a particular soft spot for Poe for several reasons.

(1) He was, for a brief period, a Bronxite. And sure, we’re not talking about post-Robert Moses-shitting-on-our-borough-and-leaving-us-to-clean-up-his-mess The Bronx, but this was in the mid-19th century when the Bronx was just woods and farmland. So he was a trensetter (early adopter?) who made the Bronx home before others dared to. Being in such an isolated place (compared to downtown Manhattan) must have been good inspiration for his writing.

(2) He was a master of short fiction, and he was one of the first notable short fiction writers. As someone whose favorite genre of literature is short fiction, I am in awe of Poe’s work. Think of it! Without him as a forefather of the short story, people like Borges wouldn’t exist.

When I was younger and heard he believed a story should have a “single effect,” I got it. To this day, it informs the way I read short fiction and the way I try to write it.

(3) One of the first stories by Ray Bradbury I read was “Usher II,” and at that point I hadn’t read “The Fall of the House of Usher,” but I was still captivated by all the references I did get. My favorite was the reference to “The Masque of the Red Death,” mostly because I thought it would be brilliant to have a house big enough to have seven rooms that were all painted a different color. But of course, the more important thing is that I was led onto the rest of The Martian Chronicles, which I still think is some of the best shit I’ve read in my life.

(4) Hey, remember when The Simpsons used to be awesomesauce? Nevermore!

You can find a lot of his works at the Project Gutenberg site (click here), etc. Hurray for works that are too old to be copyrighted!


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