Friday, December 19, 2008

Investigate the World of Edgar Allan Poe

U.S. News & World Report is publishing 50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2009 and one of those is to investigate the world of Edgar Allan Poe. Reporter Diane Cole writes that his work haunts us forevermore; "[h]e invented the detective story, penned sinister tales of the macabre, and wrote sublimely mournful verse that echoes endlessly in memory.

2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Poe's birth and celebrations are planned around the world, including Baltimore where the author died at age 40 under circumstances that even today remain a mystery.

According to Cole, studying Poe's works will help see his influence on our culture. Many scholars, for example, believe Poe's character C. Auguste Dupin had a profound influence on the development of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Countless movies are based in whole, or in part, on Poe's writings. The Mystery Writers of America named their annual award for excellence in the field of mystery fiction, the Edgar, in honor of the author. And early next month, In the Shadow of the Master, edited by Michael Connelly, is being published, a collection of 16 of Poe's best tales accompanied by 20 essays from renowned mystery authors on how Poe changed their life and work.

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