Saturday, January 19, 2013

EAP's birthday, again

In honor of Poe's birthday, I have looked at the internet for evidence of Poe in the news. 

I should like to go to there: The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga is putting on an evening of "dramatic music" interspersed with various readings of Poe in honor of his birthday.  How nice. 

Secondly, a reader of the Baltimore Sun only somewhat testily reminds the paper that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not invent crime fiction.  "Perhaps you have heard of Edgar Allan Poe?"  Thank you, reader. Isn't everyone so stupid? 

I would point out again how cute the Poe Museum's website is.  Here is their schedule for Poe's 204th birthday party:

Noon: Guided Tour of Poe Museum
12:30: Performance of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Jamie Ebersole
1:00: Lecture on the 170th Anniversary of ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ by Poe Museum’s Curator
2:00: Guided Walking tour of neighborhood Poe sites by author of Edgar Allan Poe’s Richmond
3:00: Poe’s Loves Face-Off (Sarah Helen Whitman, Virginia Poe, and Elmira Royster)
4:00: Guided Tour of the Poe Museum
4:30: Birthday Cake with Poe’s Cousin, Dr. Harry Lee Poe
5:00: Multilingual Reading of “The Raven”
5:30: Performance direct from London by English actor Tony Parkin
6:00: Guided Tour of Poe Museum
7:00: Poe Trivia Showdown
8:00: Guided Walking Tour of Neighborhood Poe Sites with Sarah Helen Whitman
9:00: Live Music by The Blue and the Grey
10:00: Guided Tour of the Poe Museum
11:00: Victorian Seance with Poe’s Fiancee Sarah Helen Whitman
Midnight: Champagne Toast to Poe

It seems like a pretty good event aside from the face-off of actresses portraying his exes.  Yuck.  I hate living history performances, but if they must do it, why don't they have a Fanny Osgood?  She was the most famous lady in his stable.  The seance turns me a little green as well.  Can't please everyone, meaning me.

John Evangelist Walsh wrote a couple of books about Poe which I think are worth reading if you care.  Midnight Dreary is an account of the last months of Poe's life which includes a very convincing hypothesis of the circumstances that resulted in his mysterious death.  Because Poe had a reputation for terrible binge drinking, his sudden death was shrugged off as the result of an impulsive bender, however there are many details that would indicate that this is either not the case or not the whole case.  Plumes in the Dust is an account of Poe's affair with famous lady writer Fanny Osgood, who allegedly bore his child.  Both are recommendable.

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