Thank you, Edgar Allan

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. Today is the 171st anniversary of the untimely demise of one of the greatest writers and influencers of modern times, Edgar Allan Poe. He was born on January 19, 1809 to David and Eliza Poe in Boston; his father abandoned his family in 1810 and his mother passes away a year later. Orphaned, he was taken by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia, who never officially adopted him. He remained in their household until early youth. He first attended the University of Virginia and then the United States Army Cadet School in West Point. Due to his unrepentant gambling and drunkenness, he was expelled from West Point and started his full time literary career.

He is considered the father of the detective fiction genre and one of the pioneers of science fiction; he wrote poems, short stories, novels and his complete works fill the pages of five humongous volumes. In 1845 he published The Raven, which was an instant commercial success. He married Virginia Clemm, his younger cousin, in 1836 and they had a happy marriage until she passed away due to tuberculosis in 1846. He worked for several literary journals, which gave him the chance to live in New York City, Baltimore and Philadelphia. While he was planning his own literary journal, initially called The Penn and then The Stylus, he unexpectedly died of unknown causes on October 7, 1849, of unknown causes; he was found dead in a bench of a Baltimore city park. Mystery shrouded his departure.

Charles Baudelaire, another “écrivain maudit”, was a great enthusiast of his prose and he translated his works to the French language; Alberto Cortázar, the Argentine star of the New Latin American literature, was in charge of his translation into the Spanish language. His work influenced the popular culture in literature, music, films and TV. As a fiction writer, we are deeply indebted to the daring ideas and magisterial prose of this tortured and prolific writer.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

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