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Garbage Pail Kids “Adam Bombing”

I bought a pack of GPK a few days ago, and finally got around to opening it last night. One of the cards I pulled was this fantastic Ludwig Van Beethoven card, “Adam Bomb” style…

ludwig van beethoven adam bombing garbage pail kids

It’s an insert from the “Brand New Series 3” that was released last year. There were 10 “Adam Bombing” cards total, but there is one in particular I really really really want:

Edgar Allan Poe

(image borrowed from the most fantastic GPK site on the Internet, geepeekay.com.)

So if you have that Poe card, and are willing to part with it, let me know what you want in return.

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Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of the Universe by Harry Lee Poe (2012)

Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe
and the Mystery of the Universe

by Harry Lee Poe
Baylor University Press, 2012
230 pages

Much more than a straightforward biography of the greatest author in American history, Evermore attempts to delve into the philosophical and theological aspects of Edgar Allan Poe’s writings, showing the writer’s journey from one conclusion to the next. Evermore is written by Poe’s distant cousin, Harry Lee Poe, who is the Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union University. For clarity’s sake, the author of this book (Harry Lee Poe) will be referred to in this review as “HLP,” while the subject of the book (Edgar Allan Poe) will be known as “EAP.”

HLP begins his work by debunking the myth of EAP as a depressed drunkard, a lie that was thrust upon him at his death by one of his adversaries, Rufus Griswold. HLP shows that his cousin was, in fact, a fairly happy man at the time of his passing. Yes, he suffered great tragedies during his lifetime, including the death of a wife, periods of poverty, and bouts with illness, but when he died he was making preparations for another marriage. The tendency to assume all of EAP’s works were direct reflections of his own life rather than pieces of fiction designed to entertain his audience is rejected, as it should be. Certainly an artist—whether a writer, painter, or musician—may draw on personal experiences for inspiration; that is quite different than basing one’s works solely on those experiences.

HLP also examines EAP’s life in light of five problems: suffering, beauty, love, justice, and the universe. In each chapter, HLP looks at a sampling of EAP’s writings in light of these subjects. On the subject of beauty, EAP is quoted, “The death, then, of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world” (68). HLP then gives several examples throughout literature and pop culture that bear this out, starting with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet all the way through PadmĂ©’s death in Revenge of the Sith. On the topic of the problem of love, HLP breaks down the three types of love: affection, friendship, and passion, giving examples of EAP’s works that fall into each category.

The most interesting chapter to this reviewer was that which dealt with the problem of justice, giving rise to EAP’s detective mystery stories. We are accustomed to such tales in the modern day, but in the nineteenth century they were a literary revolution. HLP breaks down “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” showing the uniqueness of the storytelling as well as the entire concept for the time.

Finally, HLP tackles Eureka, which he describes as EAP’s “most controversial and neglected work…in which he proposed the original Big Bang theory” (133). HLP attempts to harmonize EAP’s interest in this so-called science with his theological ideas, but conservative Christians would reject such an attempt in this day and age. The Big Bang theory simply does not fit into the Genesis account of creation, however hard “theistic evolutionists” try. HLP also mentions the possibility that, at one time, EAP subscribed to the notion of annihilation, or the cessation of existence after death. This, too, is in opposition to what the Bible teaches of life after death. However, EAP’s views seem to change over time, and HLP notes that after Eureka‘s publication, EAP “seems to settle his mind that individual identity continues so that people may know and love each other, for without individual identity, Love does not occur” (163).

Evermore is not light reading material. It should be read and studied by the individual who has a great interest in EAP, or who wishes to seriously explore the themes of suffering, beauty, love, and justice in literature. Obviously, as a book published by an institution of higher learning, it has a more scholarly tone than your average book; it is not, however, so scholarly that it is entirely out of reach for those with a deep interest in the subject matter.

Learn more about Baylor University Press.

Purchase Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of the Universe by Harry Lee Poe.

Happy birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

Celebrate the birthday of one of America’s greatest writers by reading something he wrote. There are quite a few titles to choose from, including “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” or my personal favorite, “The Cask of Amontillado.”

Edgar Allan Poe was a true genius with the written word.

Edgar Allan Poe House & Gravesite

Last summer, my family took our summer vacation in Washington DC and Baltimore. While there, we caught a couple of ballgames, visited all the historical monuments, even saw Senator John McCain underneath the Capitol. I also attended a day-long concert in Baltimore featuring Winger, Trixter, Cinderella, Scorpions, and more.

Another special attraction in Baltimore which is often overlooked is The Baltimore Poe House and gravesite.

The house is unassuming and located in a bad part of the city (the website even issues a warning about visiting), but it is an interesting shrine to one of America’s greatest authors. If you’re not looking for it, though, you would never know it was there. The street address is 203 Amity St.

Here are a few photos that I took at the house…

The above is a small sign posted next to the door outside. Other than this and another small sign, you would never know the building held any significance.

A portrait of the author.

Poe Monument Medallion

The Poe Monument was erected in 1875. The remains of Poe and Maria Clemm were removed from the original Poe family plot in the rear of the Old Western Burial Grounds. Virginia’s remains were moved from New York in 1885 and buried on the left side of the monument. Baltimore school teachers raised funds from Baltimore school children through a “Pennis for Poe” collection to help pay for the monument.

The original base relief, pictured here (ca. 1920), was stolen in 1968 and replace with a bronze medallion which was also stolen shortly after it was mounted on the monument. That was replaced by the current recessed bronze medallion.

The original marble base relief was accidentally found in a Leesburg Virginia antique shop where it was being sold as a Confederate Civil War tablet. In 1978 it was donated to the Poe House and Museum. The condition of the stone is the result of acid rain, pollution and rough handling.

I was happy that my kids took an interest in the artifacts. Derek is reading about a school that named itself after Poe. I like the quote at the bottom: “Poetry is the rythmical creation of beauty.” – Poe.

This is supposedly the lap desk that Poe used at the University of Virginia.

After a good amount of time at the house, we traveled a few blocks down to the gravesite, which includes both Poe’s current grave and a marker indicating his original burial place.

If you are interested in Edgar Allan Poe and are in the Baltimore area, I would recommend a visit. But, as the website itself says:

Note: Use caution when parking in an urban environment. Common sense dictates that you lock your car and keep any valuables out of sight.

Click here for more information about the Poe House.

Click here to read some Poe.

The 100 Greatest Names in Horror of the Last 100 Years

In issue #27 of HorrorHound, the magazine put forth what it considers to be the list of the 100 greatest names in horror history. Many names on this list are no surprise…Stephen King, Bela Legosi, H.P. Lovecraft and George Romero all appearing in the top ten. I must admit there are a few names that I do not recognize, but I plan to correct that over the coming year. I will use this as a “who did I miss?” list to discover classics that I have overlooked.

The number one name on the list is indisputable: Vincent Price. If you don’t agree, you’re wrong. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but that is the truth. Vincent Price has done more for the horror genre than almost anyone in history…forget the last 100 years.

This issue of HorrorHound is a Vincent Price special with some good articles about the man and his work. I was fortunate to go to the bookstore when I did, because the next issue is already out and I probably wouldn’t have purchased it (Scream is on the cover, and other than the first installment I just didn’t really like the franchise). If you are a Vincent Price fan and you missed HorrorHound #27, you can order it from HH’s website.

Here is Vincent Price reading Edgar Allan Poe’s classic, “The Cask of Amontillado” (my favorite Poe story).

I can’t help but wonder, where would Poe rank on a list such as this, if not limited to just 100 years?

(Note to self: I still haven’t shared my photos from the Poe House in Baltimore last summer. For shame for shame. Gotta get to that soon.)

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