I’ve often questioned why the works of Edgar Allan Poe are so creepy. Was he a strange recluse with a secret dark side that found its way onto the pages of his writings? Probably not. The answer is that I really didn’t know much about him at all. Sure I knew that he was the author of “The Raven” and that he had written other gothic fiction. But what were the reasons behind his taste for the macabre? I decided to investigate and maybe read some of his works again.
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;”
~ From “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe
Sounds cool, huh? Edgar Allan Poe wrote tales, poems, and other works of fiction for various genres that included satires, humor and comedy. It wasn’t all just horror. Although he seemed to excel at telling stories of horror and mystery. Some of his most famous works are considered part of the dark romanticism genre. I found a website called Complete Collections of Poems by Edgar Allan Poe where you can read poems like The Raven for free. Many people at the time had interests in reading about mystery, macabre and the supernatural and Poe obliged by writing for the masses. Of course he must have reflected his own interests since he wrote so well and his works were so well received.
Any fan of Poe will want to read his most famous tales like “The Mask of the Red Death”, “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Many of these stories have been made into classic horror films starring the legendary actor Vincent Price. “The Light-House” is the unofficial title of Poe’s last literary work. Actually he died shortly after he began it. But it sure sounds like it could have been an awesome story! It begins with diary entries written by a lighthouse watchman. Only four entries were written by Poe. Well, actually only three entries exist from Jan 1-3. Jan 4th was written but there is no text for that entry. Although Poe never finished the work, he laid the foundation for a story theme that involved loneliness, isolation, and fear.
I think it’s safe to say Poe had some issues. Maybe some dark ones. But there was nothing I found that directly pointed to why he was so good at writing spooky stuff. I think I’m OK with that though. It won’t prevent me from just enjoying the literary works he gave us.
Haven’t read much of Poe’s works? Try reading some of his poems or one of his famous tales. I think I’ll reacquaint myself with the works of Poe. Lucky for me Halloween is the perfect season for reading.