So, I think it’s time for me to confess my love for Edgar Allan Poe. As sure as I am a lover of books and aspiring writer, I have loved Poe from the moment I picked up a middle school edition of his short stories. Inside this book, I found the magic of Poe’s writing. He was a legendary literary critic, poet, and author. I say legendary because his ideas have surpassed just becoming classic literature. They have become a basis upon which people can appreciate writing for its truly powerful purpose.
Even for those who “don’t read” they know Poe’s reputation. He is one of the most famous and revered American authors to date (if that isn’t a fact–it damn well should be). Like all great writers, he has dabbled in a bit of everything, but eventually settled into what he was destined to do. Write horror. He is credited with many contributions to mystery, horror, detective fiction, and science fiction.
Without Poe, the genres detailed above would not be what they are today. He allowed readers to see inside the human mind, and wasn’t afraid to highlight the frightening parts. Yes, I’m talking a big game, but that is only because Poe walked a pretty big walk in his time on Earth. I believe that my love for Poe began when my 8th grade teacher had a week dedicated to Poe and we read “The Raven.” Cliche to read “The Raven” first? Probably. However, it was the best possible poem to introduce Poe to me. I proceeded to learn everything I could about him, and fell in love with his stories. I cannot claim to have read them all. At the same time, though, some of my favorite stories are his or come from his influence. Part of my love for detective fiction stems from that heart-racing mystery that Poe provides in many of his stories, which is probably what brings me to my next topic.
Pop culture. Dread it or use it, pop culture has an effect on the public. It can enlighten people as book movies encourage people to read, or it can scare people away by the out-of-date references of the past. For Poe, nothing has helped more than the pop culture influence he has bestowed upon the world.
First, let me take you back to an episode of Syfy’s Warehouse 13, which utilizes the power of word to bring Poe to life. I recently watched the episode in season 1 titled “Nevermore,” which features an “artifact” or supernatural item that must be contained by the main characters Myka and Pete in the show. What they create in the show is a notebook and pen used by Poe that hold the power of his words within them. The notebook causes the possessor to fuse with the words on the page and create a link between the text and the person in possession of the pen. It is a painful process to be so close to the words of Poe that it almost kills the man.
The pen, however, holds the power. It allows the person who holds it to recreate the stories of Poe in real life. A pendulum, trapping a man in a wall, and forced love are some of the disastrous effects of Poe’s writing in a young boy’s life. The episode brings the two together to solve the supernatural issues going on in the story, and the overall message is—Words have power. The simple fact that the writers of this tv show chose Poe is not a coincidence. He has always had a very powerful connection with the words he placed on paper. He has influenced me, and some of my favorite authors to delve into the darkness sometimes.
Next, a more recent event in pop culture has given this lover of Poe something to be excited about:
The Raven will be coming to theaters very soon, and I anticipate its arrival. The scene is set–Poe must help the police find the suspect behind murders copying his stories to clear his name and stop these horrifying killings. Sounds spooky and fantastic to me. Any chance I can have at seeing great writing on the big screen in an inventive way, I will TAKE IT!
You see, I have faith that this movie, like Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and many others will spur some in the audience to go back to the books before/after watching the film. It is an opportunity to show the world how exciting and powerful the written word can be as well as those who write it down.
I look forward to the move and invite you to check it out as well. Here is the trailer below: