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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe: 200th Birthday

Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday is today, January 19.

Free world premiere of a new movie based on Poe's life, today only: Last Days of the Raven. Or go here and click Watch the Movie or view info about the cast and production company, Theatre Crossing Film Corp. The website is vague about how long the free showing will be available. After today, you'll have to buy the DVD. Here is the official trailer.

Says The Literature Network: Contributing greatly to the genres of horror and science fiction, Poe is now considered the father of the modern detective story and highly lauded as a poet. Walt Whitman, in his essay titled “Edgar Poe’s Significance” wrote: "Poe’s verses illustrate an intense faculty for technical and abstract beauty, with the rhyming art to excess, an incorrigible propensity toward nocturnal themes, a demoniac undertone behind every page. … There is an indescribable magnetism about the poet’s life and reminiscences, as well as the poems."

Flash Fiction Online published Poe's "Shadow - A Parable" as Classic #10 (HTML, PDF) in its Sept. 1, 2008 edition.

Other observances:

  • WSJ: Poe at 200 -- Eerie After All These Years
  • UVA: A student at UVA, he was honored - 'Nevermore' Writer Always Present at the University of Virginia
  • United States Postal Service issues $0.42 Poe stamp.
  • What's the connection between Baltimore, the Addams Family and Poe?
  • Observances noted in SF Chronicle.
  • Weird collection of Poe-related items at Guardian.co.uk.
  • Quiz: What U.S. President was born the same year as Edgar Allen Poe, was assassinated in a theater, oversaw a major U.S. civil war, fathgered the civil rights movement by proclamation, wore a stovepipe hat, chopped wood, and read by a fireplace? I'll do some research and get back to you on this. Follow-up: I've narrowed it down to Abraham Lincoln and Grover Cleveland (the latter of which who, if he ever wore a stovepipe hat, kept it a secret).

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