Autodidact: self-taught


Autumn/Winter 2011 Reading

by V. L. Craven

I first discovered Edgar Allan Poe when I was thirteen. It was an immediate love connection. His tone was suitably dreary for my purposes. My wardrobe already consisted of black and nothing else. [And this was long before Goth was a thing–I was the only one & my classmates thought I was trying to be Lydia Deets from Beetlejuice , but it was because I didn’t care about clothes so it was easier to shop if you immediately disregarded anything the wrong colour. A couple of years later the question became, ‘Are you trying to be a member of the Addams Family?’ Sigh.] But I digress.

It recently occurred to me how little of Poe’s work I had read. I’d memorized ‘The Raven’ for a class project when I was twelve, and of course ‘The Black Cat’, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’ were popular, but I couldn’t recall many others. Wisps of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ and ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ floated on the edge of my mind and I had done a project on ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ when I was fourteen. And my all-time favourite short piece is ‘Silence: A Fable’. That was the end of the line, though.

I had also read some books that featured Poe as a character– Nevermore and The Hum Bug by Harold Schechter and The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl.

So I’ve decided to spend my favourite time of year (Autumn) reading all of Poe’s fiction and poetry, as well as some books which feature Poe as a character. Autumn is the best time for these sorts of things, I think. Also, the inspiration for the novel I’m working on came from The Poe Shadow that had a quote from one of his short stories. The quote was, ‘We existed within ourselves alone,’ from Murders in the Rue Morgue, and perfectly describes the relationship between the protagonists. I think they’d be very familiar with Poe’s works.

To Read: In My Collection
Poe’s Fiction
Poe’s Poetry

Fiction Featuring Poe
An Unpardonable Crime by Andrew Taylor
The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl
The Black Throne by Roger Zelazny
The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard
The ghost of E.A. Poe is often referred to in The Brentford Trilogy by Robert Rankin
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

E.A. Poe Series by Harold Schechter
-The Hum Bug
-Mask of Red Death
-The Tell-Tale Corpse

Batman: Nevermore
In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe

Short Stories
“The Cabinet of Edgar Allan Poe” by Angela Carter
Wild Nights! by Joyce Carol Oates

To Read: To Acquire
“The Baltimore Mystery” Phantom comic

A Singular Conspiracy by Barry Perowne
The Last Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe: The Troy Dossier by Manny Meyers
The Man Who was Poe by Avi
The Hollow Earth by Rudy Rucker
*Route 666 by Kim Newman/Jack Yeovil
The Murder of Edgar Allan Poe by George Egon Hatvary
*The Lighthouse at the End of the World by Stephen Marlowe
Lenore: The Last Narrative of Edgar Allan Poe by Frank Lovelock
The American Boy (An Unpardonable Crime) by Andrew Taylor
*Edgar Allan Poe’s San Francisco: Terror Tales of the City by Joseph Covino Jr
*The Blackest Bird by Joel Rose
Edgar Allan Poe on Mars by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier

Short Stories
*”Revenant” by Walter de la Mare [1st pubbed in The Wind Blows Over, 1936]
“When it was Moonlight” by Manly Wade Wellman [appeared in the Feb 1940 iss of Unknown]
“The Gentleman From Paris” by John Dickson Car [1st pubbed in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Apr 1950]
“Richmond, Late September, 1849” by Fritz Leiber [1st pubbed in Fantastic, Feb 1969]
“In the Sunken Museum” by Gregory Frost [1st pubbed in the Twilight Zone magazine, May 1981]
“No Spot of Ground” by Walter John Williams (1989)
“The Exiles” by Ray Bradbury [in collection: The Illustrated Man] (1951)

1. The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl
2. “Bernice”
3. “The Black Cat”
4. “The Cask of Amontillado”
5. “The Fall of the House of Usher”
6. “The Gold Bug”
7. “Morella”
8. “MS Found in a Bottle”
9. “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaal”

And this made me laugh:

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