Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

Born in Boston on January 19, 1809, Edgar Allan Poe is not only notable for his groundbreaking  contributions to literature and the evolution of the literary profession, but he is also fascinating for his stranger-than-fiction personal life.

Poe's life story, with its themes of abandonment, conflict, debt, loss, addiction, tragedy and mystery, would have entirely befitted a character in the genre of dark romanticism for which he is known and loved.

The events leading up to his mysterious death in Baltimore, on October 7, 1849, remain the subject of great speculation to this day. The movie, The Raven (2012), is a fictionalized account of those last days of Poe's life, in which the author pursues a serial killer whose murders are re-enactments of his stories.

I know this film receives a lot of flak, but I couldn't care less about that. I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did my husband and son. I don't want to give too much away for anyone who hasn't  seen it, but essentially, the filmmakers have taken certain known details about Poe's demise (his delirium, his dishevelled appearance,  the fact that he was not wearing his own clothing, and that he kept repeating the seemingly irrelevant name, "Reynolds") and they have concocted an utterly entertaining, escapist tale. Not to mention that it has delightful leading men in the form of John Cusack and Luke Evans, a gorgeously dark and gothic ambience, and the most deliciously satisfying ending.

I have already watched The Raven several times and look forward to watching it again this week to celebrate Edgar Allan Poe's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Poe!