Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Edgar Allan Poe Died October 7th























































The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who

Today, October 7th, is the day Edgar Allan Poe died. Born January 19, 1809, he was an American poet, short-story writer, editor and literary critic, and is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career. He died October 7, 1849, at the still very young age of 40. There is a mystery of why he died, with many theories ranging from alcohol to brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and others. It was after a visit he paid to Norfolk and Richmond to do lectures, that he was found in Baltimore in delirious, in great distress and in need of medical assistance. Poe was taken to a hospital. It was there that he died and not in a ditch as one of many myths told about him was reported. He was buried in the yard of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland.



2009 is Poe's 200th Bicentennial and there will be many places celebrating it. Virginia's Poe's Bicentennial celebrations can be found at http://www.poe200th.com/ ,with a blog being used to post updates on events at http://www.poe200th.com/blog/ . For Baltimore, Maryland's: http://poecelebration.tripod.com/ . For government events in Pennsylvania: http://www.nps.gov/edal/poe-2009-bicentennial-events.htm.



Tonight, pour yourself a glass of wine, open a book of Poe's works to "The Raven" and read it in reverence to the man who brought us so many forms of literature. Then sit back and reflect on his life. Lift the glass of wine to him, and offer him a toast and a thank you.


To you, Poe: "Nevermore!"

12 comments:

Charlotte McClain said...

A prof of mine theorized that he'd been poisoned. It was pretty common practice at the time to drug people to get them to vote a certain way and Poe had an allergy to laudanum. Imagine what he could have done with another 30 years.

Warrior Librarian said...

Poe is, and always will be, one of my favorites. I have a 1934 copy of Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe as well as a book of his collected works. I did a term paper on him in High School that I got an A+++ on. I worked so hard on that paper (I think that's why she gave me the 3 pluses; to show that she realized how much work I put into it). The term genius is overused, but it certainly applies in his case. So tragic that his life was cut so short.

Pamela K. Kinney said...

I agree wholeheartedly. He was a genius.

Pamela K. Kinney said...

I did a paper on him for college, when went back a few years ago, and the theory of rabies is interesting, as back then there was no shots to cure you. And letting something like that stay in your system for years could cause alot of what he went through. But maybe one day someone will figure out the truth.

Susan Macatee said...

I've also loved reading Poe. I really had no idea how he'd died, I only knew he died young.
Great post!

K.K. said...

Poe ROCKED...too bad he never got enough credit. England immortalized Shakespeare with the Globe Theatre, the USA turned Poe's house into a Korean convenience store...snarl, growl...
KK

elliott610 said...

I think Poe made horror an acceptable literary form.
bill

Skhye Moncrief said...

Wonderful post! Skhye

Pamela K. Kinney said...

I agree, Bill. Though back then, it was the common people who read Poe and Dickens, believe it or not.
And Susan, there is a lot behind not only his death, but other things. My next book for Schiffer is legends and myths and I have a whole chapter on myths about Poe.

Pamela K. Kinney said...

Thank you, Skhye.

elliott610 said...

In many aspects, Americans have always seemed reluctant to accept or regard their own culture's merits. We've always seemed more comfortable praising the artistic values of the foreign artisan. Perhaps we've come to view refinement as a sign of weakness and not strength.

Lise said...

Very eerie and mysterious post - appropriately so - about Edgar Allen Poe and his untimely and still unexplained demise. He authored the first mystery (based on a true life crime that he didn't feel the police were solving)and he is the king of Gothic. Your links are terrific (thanks for sharing) and I love your toast.

From another EAP fan....With much tintinabulation.