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- Me, Myself, and I
- Visit AndrewBarger.com for my exclusive interviews, etc. I am currently working on a few short stories. The shorts give me a nice break between editing the "Edgar Allan Poe Annotated and Illustrated Entire Stories and Poems" and writing a new novel.
- The Cure
- Happiest When
- Writing, reading . . .
- Salinger, Poe, Hemingway, Tolkien
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I am counting down the Top 40 horror short stories from 1800-1849 published in the English language.
0 Comments 196 weeks
The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere—
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year;
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
Here once, through an alley Titanic,
Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul—
Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
There were days when my heart was volcanic
As the scoriac rivers that roll—
As the lavas that restlessly roll
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
In the ultimate climes of the pole—
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
In the realms of the boreal pole.
Our talk had been serious and sober,
But our thoughts they were palsied and sere—
Our memories were treacherous and sere—
For we knew not the month was October,
And we marked not the night of the year—
(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)
We noted not the dim lake of Auber—
(Though once we had journeyed down here),
Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
And now, as the night was senescent,
And star-dials pointed to morn—
As the star-dials hinted of morn—
At the end of our path a liquescent
And nebulous lustre was born,
Out of which a miraculous crescent
Arose with a duplicate horn—
Astarte's bediamonded crescent
Distinct with its duplicate horn.
And I said— "She is warmer than Dian:
She rolls through an ether of sighs—
She revels in a region of sighs:
She has seen that the tears are not dry on
These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
And has come past the stars of the Lion,
To point us the path to the skies—
To the Lethean peace of the skies—
Come up, in despite of the Lion,
To shine on us with her bright eyes—
Come up through the lair of the Lion,
With love in her luminous eyes."
But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
Said— "Sadly this star I mistrust—
Her pallor I strangely mistrust:—
Oh, hasten!— oh, let us not linger!
Oh, fly!— let us fly!— for we must."
In terror she spoke, letting sink her
Wings until they trailed in the dust—
In agony sobbed, letting sink her
Plumes till they trailed in the dust—
Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.
I replied— "This is nothing but dreaming:
Let us on by this tremulous light!
Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
Its Sybilic splendor is beaming
With Hope and in Beauty to-night:—
See!— it flickers up the sky through the night!
Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,
And be sure it will lead us aright—
We safely may trust to a gleaming
That cannot but guide us aright,
Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night."
Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
And tempted her out of her gloom—
And conquered her scruples and gloom;
And we passed to the end of the vista,
But were stopped by the door of a tomb-
By the door of a legended tomb;
And I said— "What is written, sweet sister,
On the door of this legended tomb?"
She replied— "Ulalume— Ulalume—
'Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!"
Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
As the leaves that were crisped and sere—
As the leaves that were withering and sere—
And I cried— "It was surely October
On this very night of last year
That I journeyed— I journeyed down here—
That I brought a dread burden down here—
On this night of all nights in the year,
Ah, what demon has tempted me here?
Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber—
This misty mid region of
0 Comments 304 weeks
Andrew is a sustaining member of the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore.
"Coffee with Poe" is his first novel. He also edited the "Entire Tales & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe: Photographic & Annotated Edition"
Q1: Let’s start with the title. Why "Coffee with Poe"?
A1: There’s a funny story behind that because I don’t drink coffee, but I love the smell. My wife, who did the great cover photography for the novel, tells me that doesn’t count. She has an entire kitchen cabinet devoted to her coffee paraphernalia. I’m banned from looking inside because of my jokes about all the sifters, grinders, roasters, and foamers. Anyway, I could think of no better coupling than books and coffee … well, actually I can. In truth, the title is derived from a letter that Sarah Helen Whitman (one of Poe's fiancées) wrote to John Ingram on December 13, 1874, which speaks of Poe's penchant for coffee: "Mr. Bartlett has never seen him inspired by any more dangerous stimulant than strong coffee, of which he was very fond & of which [he] drank freely. MacIntosh says that the measure of a man’s brain is the amount of coffee he can drink with impunity."
Q2: Coffee with Poe is one of the only novels about Edgar Allan Poe’s life viewed from his own eyes. What made you write Coffee with Poe from Poe’s first person perspective?
A2: I wanted readers to get inside the head (however frightening that may be) of one of America’s best-loved and most mysterious writers. I wanted readers to live Poe’s life instead of learn about it. That’s the only way you can truly understand his stories and where he’s coming from. There are so many boring biographies out there.
Q3: And what an interesting and tragic life it was. You use a number of actual letters to and from Poe, including letters from Nathaniel Hawthorne and Washington Irving. How did this come about?
A3: In researching Coffee with Poe I was surprised to learn that there were so many conflicting accounts of his life, so I went straight to the letters and used these as a framework to construct the novel. I was able to incorporate many of the people mentioned in the letters as characters. The novel to me is more compelling when you read Poe’s letters from his pen after experiencing the events that prompted the letter.
Q4: The letters of his three fiancées are especially interesting.
A4: Poe got around!
Q5: In one chapter Poe meets Charles Dickens. Was that hard to write?
A5: It was difficult to capture the personalities of both these great writers as they would have interacted at this point in their careers, but it was a lot of fun, too. When they met in Philadelphia, Dickens was finishing a trip to the U.S. He was as popular across The Pond as he was in England. Poe, on the other hand, had yet to write The Raven and was not nearly as well known. Poe solicited Dickens at this time to get his works published in England but it never panned out. We also know that Dickens was fascinated that Poe guessed the ending to his serialized novel "Barnaby Rudge" before he published it. So I included conversations about Poe’s deductive reasoning that he used so well, like in The Gold-Bug.
Q6: Where did Poe get his idea for "The Raven"?
A6: Many think it was from Dickens’s use of a talking raven in "Barnaby Rudge". Poe felt the bird should have had a much larger role and I imagined Poe gently telling him such in Philadelphia. Dickens’s in turn based the raven in "Barnaby Rudge" off his own pet raven named "Grip." There is a hilarious account of Grip’s death that Dickens gave in a letter to a friend and I included that statement as he retells it to Poe.
Buy "Coffee with Poe" through Amazon at BottleTreeBooks.com and read part II of this interview below!
0 Comments 329 weeks