Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bookmonkey X Penguin Horror Day 8: Poe and I

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
As I’m currently working my way through the second book of the collection, The Raven: Tales and Poems, I thought I should focus today on my own history with the author.

Like most people, I’m pretty sure I heard “The Raven” at some point in Elementary school (and I’m also pretty sure quoted, under duress by Mr. Spock in an episode of Star Trek), and the simple idea of a man being driven from depression to madness just stuck with me. In my teen years I made my way through other some of his other works, like “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and again and again, I was just struck by how simply he could move a character from concerned to stressed to madman in such a short piece of text.

Unlike any of the other writers on the list however, I have had the chance to check out the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia (which was pretty awesome, by the way) and I have to say there is something pretty unique about visiting the home of an author you've read a lot over the years.

One of the things I've always found most interesting about Poe's fiction (which may change once I've finished the book) is the fact that much of it works as psychological thrillers (a genre that didn't really exist at the time), in that rarely is the supernatural involved, and instead much of the drive of the various stories is coming directly from the (often guilt-ridden) mind of the protagonist.

Of the six books in the collection, this is one of the ones I was most interested in reading, as I was nervous about how readable the stories may be, and as I'm familiar with a number of the various twists and turns of the stories, whether they would still have the same impact for me.

I'll let you know how it works out on Friday.

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