“I was never really insane, except on occasions where my heart was touched.”
When Edgar Allan Poe died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, he had not attained the celebrity his name conjures today. Obituaries of the time call him a critic, poet, even a genius, but none of them devote more than a few lines to his life. He was nearly penniless, certainly destitute, sick, in the thralls of depression and alcoholism–in short, a broken man. How would he have felt to know that someday he would be read widely, most likely by every student in America at one time or another? How different his end may have been if he would have known that his works would live on after him and inspire countless writers and poets for generations!
Washington County is reading Edgar Allan Poe this fall. We’re reading, thinking and talking about his stories and poetry and the impact he has had in American letters from literature to genre fiction. He created the detective story, he mastered the art of the short story, he brought horror into mainstream fiction. Poe may have been many things as a person (and he was a strange, interesting, and tortured man), but the freshness and creativity he brought nascent American literature is undeniable.
So celebrate with us the man and the mystery of Poe. A full list of events, which take place over several weeks and are in several different locations, can be found here. Kewaskum-specific events are listed below: