Re: Edgar Allan Poe
I'm not surprised that there's no Poe thread. The forum tends to stick mainly to XX century writers - not that that's a bad thing.
But for Poe I'm going to make a recommendation on a book that amazingly few people seem to have ever heard of: Poe's sole novel, The Narrative of the Life of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, which I curiously happened to read right after Melville's Typee and plays like that book's twisted cousin. Supposedly Arthur Pym was one of Borges's favorite books (I believe Paul Theroux read this to Borges on a stop in Buenos Aires on one of those train journeys of his), and it surely is a marvel. The thing that occasionally gets to me about Poe is that the narrators often tend to sound the same. Usually they're on the verge of cracking up even before they do something horrible. But Arthur is a lad of sixteen, looking for adventure, and it starts out as a nice joyous song of expectancy. Where it goes, however, is dark dark dark places. Hoo hoo shiver me timbers indeed. Word to the wise: don't read anything about it beforehand.
The maker of kitsch does not create inferior art, he is not an incompetent or a bungler, he cannot be evaluated by aesthetic standards; rather, he is ethically depraved, a criminal willing radical evil. - Hermann Broch