Wednesday, June 19, 2013
What I learned From Poe
I recently toured the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. I’m working on a few articles based on the visit, but while these are still in progress I thought I’d share a few quick insights on what I learned from Poe.
1. If you’re going to die, be sure to do it in someone else’s clothing. It will get people talking. Some people will find it so odd that they will go out and buy your books to search for any clue on why you might have done this.
2. Choose your enemies wisely. Most people don’t know this, but much of what we’ve heard about Poe being a drunkard and person of questionable character was made up by one of his professional adversaries and published after Poe’s death. The lies were intended to discredit Poe and destroy his literary legacy. This attempt backfired and only drew more people to read Poe’s work, making him far more famous than the individual who wrote the lies. Score one for Poe!
3. Marry someone much younger. Poe's happiest relationship was with his wife, who was only 13 when she and Poe (who was 27 at the time) were married. However, she died of an illness at the age of 24 and Poe never did seem to find true love again.
4. It’s okay to be a literary whore. Even Poe took on writing assignments, such as writing a textbook on sea shells, in order to pay the bills. I think that if Poe had resort to turning literary tricks in order to make ends meet, then it’s certainly not beneath the rest of us to do likewise.