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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Poe...Even Non-Readers Pretend They Like/Appreciate/Understand Poe.

I think about Poe a good bit. What? I'm a high school English teacher, the plant on my desk is named Edgar, and the students decorate him with origami ravens...

I read a lot about Poe last summer to get myself ready for my current writing project. Here's the weird thing, you almost never hear anyone saying that they HATE Poe. Or that they never heard of him. So, the thesis for this blog entry is... even people who don't read Poe like to pretend they read Poe. Which makes one wonder, why> Do people pretend to read Dickens? Shakespeare? Steinbeck? Well, yes, that's called High School English class. (I read all my books, thank you. It was the thing I was best at in school...still upset that I didn't see what everybody else loves about The Great Gatsby, but I do love me some To Kill A Mockingbird).

But Poe is different because it's COOL to read and like Poe. And by cool I mean emo-goth-fantabulous.
I have compiled, for your reading pleasure...some reasons why people who don't read Poe like to act like they read Poe. :)

  • Cool dark ambiance
  • The Collected Tales and Poems can be a really great fashion accessory, it goes great with black plastic glasses, black trench coats, and all sorts of hats.
  • Perfect for pretending to read while pretending to listen to The Cure.
  • It's preferable to read a story by someone who married their cousin, than to actually marry your cousin.
  • Ravens are creeeeepy
  • Nevermore rhymes with Lenore and Annabel Lee rhymes with Sea, and rhyming is fun!
  • Gaily bedight, a gallant knight, who says awesome stuff like that?
  • In theory pre-mature burial is pretty sick.
  • If sick is synonymous with cool, or even if it isn't, Poe is the sickest author around.

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Blogger Jill Wheeler said...

I don't know if I LOVE Poe, but I certainly appreciate him more now that I am (like you) an English teacher. We've done some fun stuff in class like illustrate scenes from his writings (can get a little grotesque). When I was coaching speech, we did a mime of "The Masque of the Red Death" set to some Nine Inch Nails song! That was pretty awesome.

April 28, 2010 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger amy said...

I don't know if you've seen that list that's going around of mean things writers say about each other, but apparently Henry James once said, "An enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection."


April 28, 2010 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger amy said...

(by which I mean, I guess some people don't love him)

April 28, 2010 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger grace said...

I do love Poe-like legit, not just because he goes well with my emo-goth-fabulous hairstyle. I can sum it up in two words, really: creepiness, and Dupin.

Dupin is not the greatest of characters, and those aren't the greatest of Poe's stories, but I love me some detective history and I love reading him having read everything else (esp. my boy Sherlock) and I love seeing how he seeded so much future mystery.

And ooh the creepiness. Like.. the teeth! That was Berenice, right? (I get all the girl-name storeis mixed up sometimes.) But seriously the TEETH.

this is what grace looks like before the caffeine kicks in.

April 29, 2010 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger Horserider said...

I'm pretty sure I've said "I hate Poe" before... *is not really a fan* I haven't read much by him though.

And I never really figured out what was so great about The Great Gatsby either.

April 29, 2010 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger grace said...

haha I love The Great Gatsby too!

I sometimes think I am not one of the "cool" people...

April 30, 2010 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger bethany said...

Grace, I put a teeth reference into The Fall. Last time Lee read it he was like, what? and I was like the true Poe fan will find this VERY CREEPY.

April 30, 2010 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger bethany said...

HorseRider, you have to read Poe to enjoy the ambiance. Otherwise you get pummeled by the insurmountable wall or words. But it's worth it to trudge through, just for the darkness of his world.

April 30, 2010 at 4:24 PM  

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