Since it’s October, October 7th was the 164th anniversary of his death, today is the 164th anniversary of the publishing of his obituary, and I’ll be 40 on my next birthday, I’m proud to present to you Thus Quoth the Poet: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe.
To introduce my story, I’m going to open with a few selections from his Obituary. Stick with me. There is a point.
The Ludwig Obituary
“Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it”
“He walked the streets, in madness or melancholy, with lips moving in indistinct curses, or with eyes upturned in passionate prayers for the happiness of those who at that moment were objects of his idolatry, but never for himself, for he felt, or professed to feel, that he was already damned. He seemed, except when some fitful pursuit subjected his will and engrossed his faculties, always to bear the memory of some controlling sorrow.”
“As a critic, he was more remarkable as a dissector of sentences than as a commenter upon ideas. He was little better than a carping grammarian.”
“In poetry, as in prose, he was most successful in the metaphysical treatment of the passions. His poems are constructed with wonderful ingenuity, and finished with consummate art. They illustrate a morbid sensitiveness of feeling, a shadowy and gloomy imagination, and a taste almost faultless in the apprehension of that sort of beauty most agreeable to his temper.”
– Selected Passages From the Obituary of Edgar Allan Poe signed Ludwing
The full text of the Ludwig Obituary is here, but don’t read it until you finish reading this post. I promise there is a point.