Tag Archives: Poe

Friday finds

I couldn’t care less about the Emmy awards, but the nominees for “Outstanding Main Title Design” were pretty amazing. The design for Game of Thrones is my personal fave, but The Art of the Title has a rundown on them all. Beware: This beguiling site is one of the most fiendishly irresistible time-sucks on the Internets.

A handy guide to the characters of Charles Dickens.

Lectures by well-known writers, now available online.

No, Mr. G, no! I’ll be good, I promise! Just don’t play that country music again!

A set of Spotify playlists for writers, including Thomas Pynchon, Ann Patchett, and Haruki Murakami.

Have you visited the High Line yet? You really owe it to yourself.

Looking for Proust and finding Verlaine.

What All My Children has in common with the Icelandic sagas.

“I don’t recall all the particulars of my first [science fiction and fantasy convention], but it was held in Baltimore at some point in the early 80s, I believe, and coincided with Poe’s birthday. I attended with a friend of mine. One high point was watching Fritz Leiber read ‘The Raven’ at Poe’s grave. One expected him, when finished, to open up a casket and crawl inside. Another was attending a panel that featured Stephen King, among others. He sat down with a brown paper bag, opened it, and pulled out a six pack of beer, which he proceeded to drink from as the panel progressed. I’ve often thought in the years since, when I’ve been trapped on hijacked or just plain boring panels, that I should have followed his example.”

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‘The economy of horror’ indeed

Nothing Edgar Allan Poe wrote was remotely as disturbing as the story of his struggle against his own demons and spectacularly bad luck, and this piece by Jill Lepore gives full weight to every twist and turn of the noose that fate braided around his neck. If, like me, you’re a writer with various potentially wonderful projects caught in the quicksand of the publishing industry crisis, you might even want to hold off on reading the piece, as good as it is. I read it yesterday, and the resulting gloom required extensive doses of my favorite iPod music during the train ride home. In fact, not all of the clouds have lifted, even now.

On the other hand, reality is a writer’s best friend, and if nothing else Lepore’s article reminds us that the history of the United States is to a great extent the history of various financial panics, in which the machinations of looters created maelstroms that sent whole populations scrambling to keep their lives and dreams from being sucked away along with their savings. Poe’s own problems were enough to bring about his downfall under the best of circumstances, but Poe — and much of the rest of the counry — did not live under the best of circumstances. They were much worse than what we’re caught in now. Here’s hoping that remains the case.

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