Dear Edgar

About a year ago I published a book that started out as a series of blogs in which I read the complete works of HP Lovecraft. A project I started as ‘filler’ posts for the blog. I’d expected the project to take me a year, and be fairly untraumatic, it took five years and there were times I thought it would never be done…

But in the end ‘The Bluffers Guide of The Writings of HP Lovecraft‘ was born and the book has been surprisingly, and no more so than to me, well received. More than a few readers have asked if I have plans do more Bluffers Guides. The simple answer to which has always been no… But I find I sort of miss doing a big blog project and delving into the complete writings of an author was a fascinating exercise at times…

When I didn’t want to raise Lovecraft’s feted corpse so I could shout at him…

The problem is there are few writers who really meet the criteria, which is to say lots of short stories, few if any novels, a complex but wide ranging reputation, but also, importantly, someone I’m happy to devote time into reading. It also has to be someone that people will be interested in reading about, otherwise I am simply writing a blog to myself…

This lead me to Dear Edgar, the writer who most inspired Lovecraft and one who remains relevant today, while often misunderstand and mostly famous for a few of his short stories and one poem in particular about the most fashionable members of the crow family… There is a lot more to Poe than mysterious deaths on the streets of Paris, old clock workings in holes, gossiping organs and the downward descent of noble lines. He wrote humour,satire, gothic horror, science fiction , Romance, adventure, Parodies and even something called Ratiocination fiction…

Sixty six short stories published over a 17 year period from the age of 23 in 1832 to 1849 when he died relatively young at the age of 40. Though he died young, he led an interesting life, not without controversy. His work achieved real fame mostly after his death, before that he was popular mostly in Europe rather than his native US. The real tribute to him is however the influence of his body of work on those who came after him. None other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for example credits Poe with inventing the ‘detective’ novel. To this day The Mystery Writers of America Awards are called ‘The Edgar’s’ in his honour.

Jules Verne wrote a sequel to Poe’s ponderously named ‘The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket’ a early science fiction story. That other early giant of the Science fiction world HG Wells was equally enamoured with Poe’s fiction.

As for his tales of Gothic Horror, well someone called Howard Philip Lovecraft credited Poe constantly as being his greatest influence… So, if you are looking who to blame…

Frankly though when it came down to it, Dear Edgar is the most obvious choice for a writer to follow up old tentacle hugger… At this point I am looking forward to the journey, or course I sad that five years ago when I started reading the whole of Lovecraft… So I ordered a really nice folio edition of his complete works that should arrive tomorrow… And grabbed a cheap kindle version of the same a couple of nights back

I mean its not like Poe married his 13 year old cousin, had a record of depressions and other mental issues. Once failed to show up for an interview for political office because he was too drunk. died of substance abuse, possibly by suicide, and had a reputation as a scathing critic that led many of his contemporaries to despise him… So he’s a nicely uncomplicated character universally liked…

I am sure I won’t read the first few and then be given to quote the raven… But how often these blogs will turn up and how well this one goes is another story. After all Lovecraft only took 4 years and a lot of rage to get through…

This entry was posted in amreading, amwriting, book reviews, books, Dear Edgar, Goth, horror, humour, indie, mental-health, opinion, publication, quotes, rant, writes, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Dear Edgar

  1. Nimue Brown says:

    I shall follow this with interest! I’ve read a lot of Poe, including some of his writing about writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. andy h says:

    Oooh poetry….excellent. Look forward to it

    Liked by 1 person

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