Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Mystery of the Missing Poe Toaster

So, the title above does not apply to household appliances named after famous American authors (the Hawthorne Dishwasher, the Whittier Microwave) but to a gentleman who, every year, shows up at the gravesite of Edgar Poe to leave a bottle and some flowers.

Except, this year, he didn't.

For the article about the ensuing consternation, and speculation about the reasons behind the no-show, check this link:

And, if you follow the two links at the bottom of that story, you'll find (1) a brief note about one of Poe's least successful books having just sold for far more money than the impoverished Poe made in his entire lifetime, and (2) a detailed account about a bizarre faux-funeral some fans held for Poe back in October, in which they dressed up as famous people who'd known Poe and recited little funeral speeches -- the idea being to give Poe the grand funeral he'd have gotten if he'd been as famous then as he is now. I wonder if his Aunt Clemm, the person closest to him after his wife died, was represented. At least it's good news that John Astin was the master of ceremonies; Janice and I got to see him do his one-man show of Poe in Chicago back around 1997 and thoroughly enjoyed it; he by and large avoided the histrionics, which was all to the good.

And so, it seems like today a tradition died. Too bad, but so it goes.

--John R.

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