Edgar Allan Poe: 170 Octobers Ago

When Edgar Allan Poe died that long-ago night in October, 1849, he likely did not reckon that he would, in the twenty-first century, stand astride American literature like a darksome colossus. Whether it be psychological suspense, proto-cosmic horror, detective mysteries or proto-SFF/Lost World adventure, the Man From Baltimore got there first.

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Why Poe?

What is it about Edgar Allan Poe? A writer of morbid poems and tales of terror who died 170 years ago, Poe stands today virtually without equal in the canon of American literature. Only Mark Twain and perhaps Ernest Hemingway can lay claim to anything like a similar stature in both critical opinion and popularity. Why should he be so central to our imagination now, in the 21st century?

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