Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe

Today is the 199th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth. I just saw this interesting article about an annual visitor to Poe's Baltimore grave. The mystery man leaves 3 red roses and a half-filled bottle of premium-label cognac — a "toast" to the author — at the gravesite. This tribute has been going on for years, though exactly how many is up for debate.

Poe was one of my earliest all-time favorite authors. For a time as a child, I couldn't get enough of reading his tales or of watching the movies/listening to old radio shows based on them. It was a particular treat to work on my book of Poe retellings. Then just last year, I wrote a high school lesson plan for on comparing Poe's brilliant "The Pit and the Pendulum" to Roger Corman's remarkable 1961 film interpretation. If you haven't read or seen these works in a while, I recommend reacquainting yourself with them, one right after the other. I know you'll enjoy the experience.

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