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Posts Tagged ‘Edgar Allan Poe’

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October 1st is literally just two days away, and I couldn’t be more excited because I am celebrating Halloween all month long. Inspired by my friend Kelsi, I created a list of activities to commemorate my favorite holiday. To start the spooky season off on the right foot, I will be donning Halloween socks. Pins, earrings, and other fall/Halloween accessories will be worn to add a little magical flair to my otherwise uninteresting wardrobe.

I am currently reading NOS4A2, a horror novel written by Joe Hill and Ghost Squad, a ghost story by Claribel A. Ortega. Other books on my list include Witch Catcher, a fantasy novel by Mary Downing Hahn and The Collected, a horror novel by K.R. Alexander. 

Halloween BookIn addition to books, I have several short stories to devour throughout the month. I will begin with two tales of mystery and horror by Edgar Allan Poe, “The Purloined Letter” and “The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion.” Other selections will be taken from A Newbery Halloween. The stories that I have chosen from this collection include “The Baddest Witch in the World” by Beverly Cleary, “Witch Girl” by Elizabeth Coatsworth, and “The Year Halloween Happened One Day Early” by Virginia Hamilton. 

October would not be complete without the return of all things The Walking Dead. Sunday, 04 October is the air date for the long-awaited Season 10 finale of The Walking Dead followed by the premiere episode of the newest spin-off series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond. The following Sunday, 11 October welcomes the return of Fear the Walking Dead for its 6th season. Zombies, zombies, and more zombies!

My hubby and I will be attending the screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Columbia Theatre in Hammond on Friday, 09 October. The following week, my friend Helen will be visiting from Colorado, so we will celebrate one of the nights with a Halloween cocktail

The month-long celebration will also include numerous movies, 13 to be exact, for frightfully delightful cinematic pleasure. I will watch them in no particular order; however, I plan to watch Sleepy Hollow first. The first four movies on my list were influenced by Kelsi’s horror movie marathon list. 

Movies:

  1. The Haunted Mansion
  2. Train to Busan
  3. Hocus Pocus
  4. Color Out of Space
  5. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  6. Sleepy Hollow
  7. Salem’s Lot (1979)
  8. The Innocents
  9. The Ritual
  10. The Vatican Tapes
  11. Death Note
  12. House of the Witch
  13. Dark Skies

Dear reader, if you are interested in more Halloween fun or want some inspiration to create your own Halloween Fun list, check out Kelsi’s blog post “Happy First Day of Autumn!” How do you celebrate the Halloween season? I’d love to hear of anything else I can add to make the upcoming month more spooktacular. Happiness!

“Every day is Halloween, isn’t it? For some of us.” ~ Tim Burton

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Reading is my favorite way to pass time, so I added a new reading goal for 2020 inspired by Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project. In 2019, as part of her yearly Design Your Summer and 19 for 2019, she took a literary adventure with Summer of Proust. After reading her blog post “Reflections on My ‘Summer of Proust'” and seeing how much she enjoyed reading all the works of Marcel Proust, I decided I wanted a “Summer of Poe” and put it on my 20 for 2020 list (#16). What a fantastic idea!

Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite American authors. My love affair with Poe’s work began in the 8th grade when I chose to recite the poem “Annabel Lee” for my Reading class. Throughout high school and college, Poe was assigned literature for English classes which always brought me considerable joy. As a junior high English teacher, I felt it was only fitting to impart my love for Poe to my students. For years, my students and I read and discussed “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Raven.” Therefore, choosing to spend the summer reading one author’s work was a no-brainer. 

PoeUnlike Rubin, I did no preparation prior to reading Poe’s work like she did for Proust. In hindsight, I probably should have done a smidge before starting my own literary adventure. From the beginning, I knew the odds of me reading everything written by Poe in one summer would be impossible. One reason, his writing is challenging. I personally cannot read his work quickly. Another reason, because his writing requires so much concentration on my part, I knew I would also need to read other books written by other authors that did not require so much mental effort. Therefore, I chose to read The Edgar Allan Poe: Anthology of Classic Tales since it did not contain a complete collection of Poe’s stories and poems, and it was given to me as a gift from Andrew. To my dismay, while perusing the table of contents, I soon discovered that over my lifetime I had only read six of his short stories and two of his poems. Thankfully, that is no longer the case.

I chose to read all of the short stories, poems, and the one novel, which were organized by genre, in the order presented in the anthology.  It was wonderful to revisit tales that I was familiar with like “The Fall of the House of Usher” (still scary after all these years), “William Wilson,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Masque of the Red Death” (haunting), “The Tell-Tale Heart” (never gets old), “The Black Cat,” “The Raven” (nevermore), and “Annabel Lee” (beautifully written poem about death). If you notice, dear reader, the tales of Poe that I have previously read over the years are included in the horror genre. And, I must confess, his short stories and poems in this category are quite riveting and are probably my most preferred of his writing. Of my new horror favorites, two are revenge stories, “The Cask of Amontillado” (confirms that I will never visit catacombs) and “Hop-Frog” (never underestimate a jester). “Morella” and “Ligeia” are equally creepy and best read during the day. 

My leisurely excursion through this treasury revealed to me that Poe was so much more than a horror writer. He is credited with inventing the detective story, and the two stories in this collection, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” are suspenseful and quite enjoyable. There are seven short stories and his only completed novel under Adventures of Sea and Sky. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the short stories, especially “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall,” “The Gold-Bug,” and “The Oblong Box.” “Mellonta Tauta,” which is set in the far future seems to eerily parallel our current societal times with the past of the narrator who is writing letters while on a balloon flight.  His novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, is about the adventures and misadventures of Arthur Gordon Pym on the high seas. While it took me a long time to read, this novel is interesting and entertaining. At some point in my lifetime, I will revisit it. Surprisingly to me, until I read this compilation, I was unaware that Poe wrote humorous and satirical stories. There are only three of those types of stories in this book; however, in my other book Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, there are a total of 25 stories. Of the three that I read, I adore “The Spectacles” and “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.” Both are incredibly amusing. I cannot wait to read his other stories in this genre. Finally, there are only four poems in this collection, and I fancy all four of them. When checking my other book, Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, it revealed a total of 55 poems. All gems, I’m sure. 

My “Summer of Poe” was a huge happiness boost and has made living through a pandemic more bearable. Clearly, I still have so many more stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe that I must read, so another “season” of Poe is necessary. In the meantime, I will delight in the stories and the poems that I have read by Mr. Poe as I venture into a realm of other books by other authors awaiting my discovery. Have you, dear reader, ever devoted a period of time to reading a certain author or genre? If not, would you consider it, and which author or which genre would you consider? Happiness!

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe Collection

 

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