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Edgar Allan Poe's Birthday January 19, 1809

We didn't forget: January 19, 1998 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Don't miss last year's treatise on this great man.

Week of January 18, 1998

When I think of Edgar Allan Poe, I smile deviously to myself. My reasons for this are more intense than I realized before starting this week's column. I think I can blame my mom for this (rather convenient, don't you suppose?)

After months of unexplained nightmares, my mother found out about my horror addiction. I had secretly been reading every scary book I could get my hands on. I consumed ghost stories, Big Foot legends, Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King and Ann Rice. The night terrors followed, and when my huddled form was discovered in the bed with a flashlight in one hand and a ghost story in the other, my reading material was banned. My mother literally grounded me from scary books (understand that I was 11 years old at the time).

Edgar Allan Poe, however, was another story. He was the one gore-master that my mother was glad to see me to read. It was only school that made me shy away from him. There is nothing more able to quench the flames of literary desire than being required to read something.

So, I sit here, on the eve of Edgar's birthday, smiling to myself at the thought of him. Now, I avoid the horror genre, but the dark and curious side of me is drawn to it at times. It's a fight with myself that I lose when the dark months of winter make me believe that there is no end to this evil season. This is the perfect time to immerse yourself into a good Poe story.

The following are my favorite quotes from Edgar Allan Poe. These were hard fought quotes, dredged from the bowels of his literature itself, since most quote books don't cover him well, if at all.

Introduction and quote compilation by Laura S. Moncur, Staff Writer.

"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."
Eleonora, 1841
"There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man."
The Black Cat, 1843
"There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of our sad Humanity may assume the semblance of a Hell."
Premature Burial, 1844
"Her whom in life thou didst abhor, in death thou shalt adore."
Morella, 1850
"There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made."
The Masque of the Red Death, 1842
"Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence- whether much that is glorious- whether all that is profound- does not spring from disease of thought - from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect."
Eleonora, 1841
"But, as in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born."
Berenice, 1835
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"
Premature Burial, 1844
Featured Books
The following books and tapes are available through
  • The Dark Eye : The Official Strategy Guide (Secrets of the Games Series.) Paperback by Colleen Green, Barbara Karg - There was a game available in 1996 called The Dark Eye. I was a wonderful game, in which you get to be the character in Edgar Allan Poe's stories (for example, you hate Fortuno and you want him dead, so you have to lead him to your family's crypt and brick him into it. If you haven't read The Cask of Amontillado, you would be hard pressed to finish that section of the game). This is the guidebook to this game. I couldn't find the game for you to buy, but it looks just like the cover of this book, so if you see it, snap it up because I enjoyed many hours of fun with it. (Last time I saw this game available, it was in a discount collection with a couple of other games, so you can try there.)
  • The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe Paperback by Edgar Allan Poe - Treat yourself to the work of this great man. My favorites are The Cask of Amontillado (perfect revenge story), The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar (Can hypnotism prevent you from dying? Find out here), and Berenice (not only premature burial, but also a tooth obsession). Read on and enjoy!
  • The Best of Edgar Allan Poe Audio Cassette narrated by Edward Blake - If you prefer to listen to the horrors of madness and obsession, try this collection. The stories that are included are unabridged.
  • Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Paperback by Daniel Hoffman - I had to recommend this biography, if only because of the title. Read about the life of Edgar Allan Poe.
For more information about Edgar Allan Poe, try these links:
  • The Edgar Allan Poe Page - This site includes the complete works of Poe, other Poe links, lists of movies, and lots more. My favorite stories are there, so if you're desperate to read Berenice because of all my ravings, feel free. The text is easy to access and read (it's just that you can't curl up with a computer like you can with a book from, that's all).
  • The Edgar Allan Poe Page - A list of links and a concise biography of Mr. Poe.
  • Cybertour: Edgar Allan Poe - Another collection of links and interesting critiques of the sites you can link to.
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