Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Contemplating the Writings of Edgar Allen Poe

by M. J. Joachim
Good day to you, kind followers! I think it’s important to let you in on a little secret. The reality is that I did not expect to enjoy reading Edgar Allen Poe. In fact, based on my preconceived notions about him and his work, I was thoroughly convinced I would be double locking my doors and windows at night, grabbing my husband’s arm as we slept – clinging to him for comfort, as my imagination went wild with scenes from the stories I was reading.

However, nothing could be further from the truth…at least so far. A curiosity factor has developed, and despite some of the gruesome settings and details included in his work, Poe has to my mind, deserved his highly acclaimed reputation.

True confessions, as it were, I’m finding a gut reaction not suitable to the work. You see, I often need to read Poe’s stories more than once, because he includes so much detail about everything – backgrounds, environments, scenery, people – oh, how he manages to allow us to literally see every blemish and wrinkle on their faces, while picturing every grimace and hearing every sigh!

If anyone ever wants a lesson in how to write better, I’m convinced you need only read the writings of Poe and many other authors who have such all-inclusive, dynamic writing styles. Genre aside, there is much to be said for writing really good stories; giving credit where credit is due, I must admit that Poe couldn’t have written his stories for the sake of promoting horror.

Far too many of them contain vital information about the times he lived in, not to mention twists and turns that might make people step up and notice some of the troubles in their midst. Poe’s stories contain insight and messages for his present time, as well as for all time. Evil is real, as is temptation. Our response to it is optional. Poe makes this clear time and time again, all the while telling a story that captures your attention from the very first word, to the very last punctuation mark.

That’s all for now, good people! Until next time, I wish you wellJ

M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: Wikicommons, Public Domain