For today’s guest post Carlisa from Confessions of Carlisa compiled some very compelling reasons why you should read Edgar Allan Poe. Go check them out!
The unabridged Edgar Allan Poe contains all of Poe's classic tales and most haunting poems - presented, for the first time, in the order he originally wrote them. This complete collection of Poe's versatile genius lets you share his journeys into the wondrous and macabre that have entertained and fascinated readers for generations. Not a word has been deleted!
Edgar Allan Poe. We hear that name, and I’d daresay we’ve all probably heard that name. You most likely think of stories of hearts beating through floorboards and talking ravens and just general creepiness. And you’re not wrong. Edgar Allan Poe is known for his horrific short stories and poems, filled with death and sprinkled with some torture and madness.
But I’m writing this because I’ve seen a lot of people disregard Poe as a crazy guy with weird, morbid writings. Which, you know, is pretty much true. But he’s a lot more than that, and his writings are a lot more than that. So here is my Edgar Allan Poe Appreciation Post, listing 5 reasons why you should give his writings a try.
- They’re perfect for Halloween.
Since I’m writing this as part of Ali’s Halloween event, this has to come first. Edgar Allan Poe is perfect for Halloween. Creepy, thought-provoking, eerie, morbid. What more could anyone want? I recommend: The Pit and the Pendulum, the Tell-Tale Heart, and the Black Cat.
- They’re all short and sweet.
So that phrasing probably isn’t the best. His writings are definitely short, probs not that sweet. One of his theories is that good literature should be able to be read in one sitting. So this isn’t an investment of your time, people. It’s quick, fast, lickety-split. So I’m really not asking all that much from you.
- He writes more than horror.
Little known to most people, Poe actually is a really funny write and satirist. One of my favorite pieces I read for my class was “Some Words with a Mummy” because it’s hilarious. The story is satirizing the Egyptian craze that was flying through society during Poe’s time—when everyone wanted to study Egypt and mummies and that was their life’s work. So these guys are studying a mummy when he suddenly sits up and starts talking to them. And everything they thought was so great about their nation was actually done better by the Egyptian. It’s just kind of silly but also meaningful and hilarious to see the scholar’s dumbfounded reactions.Or there’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” which many claim as the first detective story. A story that heavily influenced Arthur Conan Doyle when he wrote his Sherlock Holmes series. Fun fact. And the answer to the mystery of this story will probably, definitely, completely surprise you. Anyway, moving on.
- His poems are beautiful.
Not everyone is a poetry person. I’m definitely not a poetry person. I’m an English major, but if you start talking to me about meter and poetic feet and rhyme scheme, I’ll probably zone out. I super struggle analyzing poetry in that way. But I enjoy reading it. The lyricality and melody and beauty of language is manifested so wondrously in poetry, and Poe is a master of this.
- Sure, he’s crazy, but aren’t all the best people?
In my class, we had to read his biography…so I feel like I know Poe’s life more than I ever probably wanted or needed to. And I learned that he is quite crazy. Mostly because he kind of had an awful life. Almost all of the women in his life died of consumption (which is probably why there’s a recurring theme of dying women and why Poe said that the most beautifully tragic thing is the death of a beautiful women). And then he just had it rough. Lots of drinking and sickness and death. Which his writing pretty much reflects. But, if you haven’t noticed, a lot of famous authors, authors now considered classic, were pretty out-of-their-minds bonkers. It’s a common trend. But they produce some really beautiful things that have stood the test of time.
So, I hope I’ve helped you see the appeal to Edgar Allan Poe. As we approach Halloween, I definitely think you should consider reading some of his stories and poetry to help set the mood. And if you’re getting a little creeped out, try some of his lighter satire. But then go back to his other ones. They’ll get you thinking, that’s for sure. Hmmm, is there anything else I want to say? *turns to raven sitting next to me on the desk*
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”
I think Halloween is the PERFECT time for some Edgar Allan Poe? Did Carlisa convince you of the same? Have you read it before?