Friday, October 5, 2018

For your October enjoyment, a little Edgar Allan Poe

The Essential Edgar Allan Poe: Stories, Poems, BiographyThe Essential Edgar Allan Poe: Stories, Poems, Biography by Edgar Allan Poe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Happy October! I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much lately. I've just started a new Corporate Day Job. I'll try to least post about some interesting audio books I listen to in my car on the way to and from work, like this one.

My brother loaned me this audio book. I'd read most of these stories and poems before, but they were still enjoyable. "Tamerlane" is really not a great poem, but it's always fun to hear a dramatic reading of "The Raven."

(A few more of my favorite poems are HERE.)

My favorite of the material that was new to me was the sketch about the man who was hypnotized at the point of death, "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar."

The biography was interesting, too. Here's a fun Poe tidbit: Although he was often a harsh, cruel critic of work he disliked, he genuinely liked the work of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. He wrote positive reviews of her work in his newspapers and was influenced by her when he wrote "The Raven."

This book makes the case that the probably cause - or at least one cause - of Poe's final delirious illness and death may have been the 19th-century practice of cooping, a kind of voter fraud. It explains why he was found wearing someone else's clothes. Unscrupulous electioneers would dress the same intoxicated man up in different outfits so he could vote multiple times.

I believe the rabies theory of E.A. Poe's death came up in that book about rabies. I don't think anyone seriously thinks that Poe died of rabies anymore.

Overall, this audio book is a solid listen if you're a fan of classic American literature.