The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Edgar Allan Poe’

One Man’s Trash, and Other News

November 7, 2013 | by


  • Discarded books from the Birmingham Public Library become the basis for a series of pieces by local artists.
  • P. D. James claims to have solved a 1931 cold case in the course of researching a mystery. In 1841, Edgar Allan Poe’s literary gumshoeing was less successful.
  • The rise of Denglisch—and the introduction of words like shitstorm and cashcow into the German lexicon—is understandably controversial.
  • Here are some bookish wedding cakes. We feel like that last one is really the cake of a match made in heaven. Mazel tov!


    Edgar Allan Ho, and Other News

    October 31, 2013 | by


  • This would either confuse an alien who had just set foot on Earth, or maybe explain everything: the NSA haiku generator.
  • Along similar lines: Edgar Allan Ho, which BoingBoing has anointed Best Sexy Costume 2013. (As the creator of the admittedly theoretical Sexy Struwwelpeter, I respectfully disagree.)
  • The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Novel comes to Kickstarter.
  • According to the Common Core guidelines, The Hunger Games is more complex than The Grapes of Wrath. (But, plotwise, it sort of is, no?)


    J. D. Salinger on a Cruise, and Other News

    October 8, 2013 | by


  • J. D. Salinger worked as an entertainment director on a luxury liner. And other odd jobs of literary greats.
  • “Few readers know that Edgar had an older brother. Typically going by the name Henry, he was a poet, like his famous sibling, and a hard-drinking sailor.” At Page Turner, an investigation of early Poe.
  • Vogue UK has launched the Vogue On … Designers book series.
  • “Rather like a modern foreign correspondent, he had his area of expertise that he was keen to emphasize.” On the “shaggy-dog stories” of Herodotus


    Obituary of Edgar Allan Poe

    October 7, 2013 | by


    From the Richmond Semi-Weekly Examiner, vol. II, no. 98, October 12, 1849:

    EDGAR ALLAN POE died in Baltimore on Sunday last. His was one of the very few original minds that this country has produced. In the history of literature, he will hold a certain position and a high place. By the public of the day he is regarded rather with curiosity than with admiration. Many will be startled, but few will be grieved by the news. He had very few friends, and he was the friend of very few—if any. But his character and adventures were too remarkable, and his literary merits too indubitable, to pass from the stage with the simple announcement already given.

    His family was a very respectable one in Baltimore. His grandfather was a Quartermaster General in the Revolution, and the esteemed friend of Lafayette. During the last visit of that personage to this country, he called upon the widow to tender her his acknowledgments for services rendered him by her husband. His great-grandfather married a daughter of the celebrated Admiral McBride. Through him they are related to many of the most illustrious families in England. Edgar Poe’s father was reputably brought up and educated. — Becoming enamored with a beautiful young actress, he made up a runaway match with her, and was disowned by his friends thereafter. He or his wife possessed mimetic genius, and they lived precariously. They came to Richmond in pursuit of their profession. She was somewhat of a favorite on our boards—but more on account of her beauty than her acting. They both died in Richmond—both of consumption, and within a few weeks of each other, and left here without a house or home their gifted but most miserable and unfortunate son. Mr. John Allan, a wealthy and kind hearted merchant of this place, having no children of his own, taking a natural fancy to the handsome, clever child, adopted him as son and heir. He was consequently brought up amidst luxury, and received the advantages of education to their fullest extent. In 1816 he accompanied his adopted parents in a tour through England, Scotland and Ireland. — They returned to this country, leaving him at Dr. Brandsby’s High School, Stoke Newington, near London, where he continued five years. He returned in 1822, and continued about Richmond for two or three years. He was then remarkable for his general cleverness, his feats of activity, his wayward temper, extreme personal beauty, his musical recitations of verse, and power of extemporaneous tale-telling. In 1825 he went to the University of Virginia. The University was then a most dissolute place, and Mr. Edgar A. Poe was remarked as the most dissolute and dissipated youth in the University. He was already a great classical scholar, and he made huge strides in mathematics, botany, and other branches of natural science. But at the same time he drank, gambled, and indulged in other vices until he was expelled from the place. On Mr. Allan’s refusal to pay some of his gambling debts, he broke with him and went off at a tangent to join the Greeks—those being the times of Bozzaris and the Greek Revolution. When he reached St. Petersburg, however, he found both money and enthusiasm exhausted, and he got into a quarrel with the Russian authorities—whether about liberty or lucre is not known. At any rate he found himself nearly adding some knowledge of the knout and Siberia to his already extensive knowledge of men and manners, and was glad enough to accept the intervention of the American consul, Henry Middleton, and his aid to get home. In 1829 he entered the Military Academy of West Point. In the meantime, Mr. Allan had lost his first wife, and married a lady his junior by a very great number of years—he being sixty-five. Mr. Poe is said to have behaved uncivilly to the lady and to have ridiculed the match. The old gentleman wrote him an angry letter, and Mr. Poe answered it with a very bitter one. The breach was never healed. Mr. Allan died a short time afterwards, and left Poe nothing. Read More »


    Banned Books, Mugging, and Other News

    September 27, 2013 | by


  • The beleaguered Edgar Allan Poe House, in Baltimore, will re-open to visitors weekends in October, prior to its official reopening in spring 2014.
  • A survey conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts finds, depressingly, that less than half of respondents read a book for pleasure in 2012.
  • “When it became Scotland’s National Book Town 15 years ago, it was a place suffering from the decline of traditional industries.” A visit to the Wigtown Book Festival, “a place saved by books.” 
  • Banned books mug shots.


    Some Sort of Alchemy

    May 29, 2013 | by

    Sun Ra

    His names were many: christened Herman Blount, he reinvented himself as Sonny Blount, H. Sonne Blount, Le Sony’r Ra, and, finally, what he called his “vibrational name,” Sun Ra. Ra’s band, too, was rich in appellation—one could compile a dizzyingly poetic list of its nearly fifty names, including the Myth Science Arkestra, the Intergalactic Research Arkestra, the Cosmo Drama Arkestra, the Transmolecular Arkestra, and the Love Adventure Arkestra. As many names, Ra might have said, as there are stars in the sky. This jazz visionary was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and not on Saturn, as he often claimed; in Chicago, in the late forties, a young Sonny Blount played piano with Fletcher Henderson, sharpening his formidable skills as a composer and arranger with the big-band legend. The combo Ra formed soon after was part cult, part family. He called his musicians “tone scientists”; they humbly described themselves as “nobodies with the master.” He taught them to play a kinetic, improvisational swing (bachelor-pad wailing for the pharaohs) that drew on his own spiritual bouillabaisse of Egyptology, Kabbalah, numerology, the Nation of Islam, Neoplatonism, Swedenborg, and Edgar Allan Poe. During performances, Ra wore a metallic cape and crown, while his band and dancers, in similar Afro-Space garb, threaded through the audience conjuring tribal magic and orbital ecstasy.

    In 1972, Ra signed a multi-album deal with ABC/Impulse! Records and recorded what would become his most popular disc, Space Is the Place. The new, sleek volume Sun Ra + Ayé Aton: Space, Interiors and Exteriors, 1972 offers a trove of photographs once thought to be lost that show the musician in full regalia on location in Oakland, California, for the production of a film that was to accompany the album. Also included are photos of murals done by Ayé Aton, a Chicago artist who shared Ra’s cosmological inclinations. Read More »