My New Friend Ed

April 20, 2011 at 9:17 am 2 comments

Edgar Allan Poe. Does that name conjure damp misty graveyards, the funk of rotting flesh and the voice of Vincent Price? It does for me too.

I’m crossing Poe off my bucket list and I’ve been reading a collection of his tales and poems. It’s been an education to say the least. I started with ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’ to see how it and his detective character, Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin compared to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, Sherlock Holmes. It’s obvious that Holmes is a direct rip off of Dupin, although Holmes is not the enormous gasbag that is Dupin. Doyle nicely improved and expanded the detective genre and I know Poe didn’t mind (mainly because he was dead when Holmes appeared).

I’ve been enthralled with the precise and formal words of the Victorian language that are recognisable but not used today. One such word that made me scratch my head was ‘donjon’.  It was used to refer to a basement room in a castle and I wondered what it might mean. I’m sure you’ve already figured out it’s an old version of the word ‘dungeon’! Ahhhhh! Also, today, when someone goes about things in an indecisive manner, we say they are going about it ‘willy-nilly’. Well, an indecisive Poe character asked himself, “Will I? Nil I?” and voila, I uncovered the root of that modern term. HA!

I mentioned Vincent Price. I hear his sepulchral voice loud and clear when I read the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. I’m not a poetry fan but I found ‘The Raven’ to be very engrossing and it propelled me on to read more of his poems. I recommend them. In fact, I recommend Poe in general. He is dark, engrossing, scary, creepy and even funny. He was a hypochondriac screw-up who married his thirteen year old cousin and was the first American to attempt making a living solely from writing. Strange and bent?  Yes. A literary genius? Indeed!

(Hmmm… as I type this, a crow cousin of the raven, just threw itself against my window. Quoth the cousin, “Nevermore.”) Here I endeth my commentary.

 

(Rest in) Peace

 

© Dave Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011

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Where is Your Nose?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. whatsaysyou  |  April 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I admire Poe since I was a kid and his Telltale Heart still entralls me today. He is amazing.

  • 2. Dale Long  |  April 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I hear Vincent Price’s voice as well when I read Poe’s poems! He was the perfect voice.

    I’m not surprised you are a Poe fan, not just of his fiction but of his poetry as well. I find your poetry a curious combination of Robert Service and Edgar Allen Poe. Dark and insanely humourous.

    Like you, I have a fansination with the era in which he wrote. It has a personallity and flavour all it’s own. One might say it has character.

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