Geektoberfest Year 4: Reading Sanctum: Flight of the Raven #1

So you might have heard that the Mustache and the Beard lost power for 24 days after Hurricane Fiona hit. My baby sister passed away in June, and it’s been a rough couple of months so we have not posted since August. Ugh! It could not be helped. However, we are back with our horror celebration that starts. . . Now!

While I was sitting in the dark, these past weeks, I of course got into a horror mood. I wanted to watch Horror, read Horror, and talk about Horror. Ostensibly, to get away from the real-life horror I was living. I know you can relate.

One of those things that human beings do for comfort is engage in retail therapy. In fact, it is so commonplace that the Bible has Jeremiah purchasing a field in order to demonstrate that the people that have been displaced will inherit the land. Sometimes, to feel good; spend money.

Since I was in the Halloween mood (October makes me sing), I decided to check out some classic horror on Amazon for my Kindle. You all know that I love classic horror, and Poe is a favored author. To my joyous surprise, I found a 5000-page tome published by Beelzebub Classics purportedly “Edgar Allan Poe: The Complete Collection.”

(That’s right, Beelzebub Classics, an interesting name for a publishing house. I think the entire publishing business is going to hell in a handbasket, but this company got there first.) *Insert maniacal laugh, here!

Because I am a chunky man, I won’t sicken you with the thought of me doing cartwheels, but a silly celebratory dance ensued with some surprisingly acrobatic contortions punctuating the display. There was a butt shake, a rattle of the bones, and a two-step shuffle which I mastered in high school. Not only was the volume available, but it was available for FREE! As in it costs nothing!

Now, I fully expect this to take me years. Reading the Complete Robert Louis Stevenson took me almost four years and I still have to include several reviews, but we shall see. I have several of these “Complete” collections and I don’t believe it was possible back then to curate the way we can, now. Still, here is an introduction worthy of the term for the voluminous treatise that follows.

I actually have decided to create a 2017 bookshelf on Goodreads that will include these short stories, poems, and essays along with other short form classics. (For me, and of course the prodigious Beard, the term classic requires three criteria: longevity (the work is 50 years or older), paradigm creating or shifting (as all of Poe is), and exceptional (because the guy was a freaking genius). Hold on to your butts.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, isn’t it obvious? I intend to share this book with you. I will be writing my thoughts periodically on these stories, essays, and articles: all 4912 pages. In fact, if you want to follow along, you can “purchase” this book from Amazon now for FREE. Did I forget to mention “Free?”

The entire work is split into ten sections: The Intro, three introductory articles written by Poe’s peers of the day; The Tales are his masterful run of short stories; The Poems are collected here; The Novels, of which there are only two; The Essays, because he was considered an erudite scholar of the day; The Miscellanea, for those pieces of his writing not easily classifiable; The Play (I think explanation unnecessary); The Criticism which may be one of the reasons he was intensely disliked; The Letters, because we all have people we talk to; and The Indexes, which I promise to only look at in brief.

The Intro is split between three articles: Edgar Allan Poe – An Appreciation; Edgar Allan Poe; and Death of Edgar A. Poe. The first two articles are about ten pages each and largely biographical. The last one is far more interesting, and will reinforce my point that although Poe was considered a genius by many, he was also hated by most. Some of it due to jealousy, but because he was critical of those he thought inferior.

The inclusion of this Nathaniel Parker Willis essay is a rather odd inclusion to the introduction of this massive tome collecting the works of Edgar Allan Poe. This essay is akin to the Mark Antony soliloquy in Julius Caesar where he says that Brutus is an honorable man, but means the exact opposite. Bill Shakespeare sure had the gift of storytelling, but here Willis talks about Poe’s genius in such a way that it appears as if he is some kind of huckster peddling a cure-all medicine. In effect, Willis is dancing on Poe’s grave.

Left is right. Up is down. My first dog, Zippy, is on a farm with lots of space to run free, like my Mommy said, and I believed her. Willis says that Poe is a genius, with a dedicated work ethic, although he heard that one glass of wine could turn Poe into a madman. Not that he ever witnessed the madness, but it can’t be a lie, can it?

Now why the f##k would you ever mention something you never witnessed in an essay celebrating the man. Willis was a POS clearly envious of Poe’s genius and attempting to besmirch the legacy that in life was never monetarily recognized. Still, I think it’s important to be aware that there were weaselly detractors of Poe and this essay contrasted to the first two essays demonstrates the stark difference. Not everybody loved him, but I do. His work, at least.

Allright, you wonderful Geeks, and Freaks, I think we will end this post here. I will continue looking at this tome from time to time along with all the other stuff we have going on. Thanks for your prayers and good wishes. It’s great to be back for our fourth year doing this stuff. I love you! God Bless! Peace!

Stay tuned for our Blogoversary. It’s a little late, but never too late to drink some bubbly. We might even talk with that OMG, Lance.

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