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« Monday @ KGB: Amy Lawless & Patricia Carlin | Main | An Embarrassment of Riches (by Laura Orem) »

October 05, 2009


Argh -literary snobbery gives me headache! Why is Poe scorned as a hack for writing scary stories, but Mary Shelley is not? How about Bram Stoker? Or Charlotte Perkins Gilman for "The Yellow Wall-paper"? What about Dickens and "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" or Wilkie Collins and "The Moonstone"? Puh-leeze.

"The Cask of Amontillado" is one of the best stories ever. It's gripping, suspenseful, psychologically complicated (why does the narrator tell us the story if he isn't feeling conflicted?), and wonderfully creepy and horrific. It's just great. So I say Boo! to those who get up on their literary high horse about EAP.

The University of Virginia has a collection of Poe's letters online - they make sad reading. Many of them are desperate pleas for money. And there is also the whole controversy of Poe's death. His symptoms as described match rabies (a horrible way to go), not alcoholism - although certainly Poe was a textbook raging alcoholic and depressive. A tragic man, but a terrific writer.

And you haven't lived until you've heard Diamanda Galas reading "The Black Cat" on the double CD, "Closed on Account of Rabies." Also Walken does "The Raven," Iggy does "The Tell-Tale Heart" -- and Steadman did the cover art.

And if that's not enough, hie thee here:

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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