“There is no exquisite beauty…without some strangeness in the proportion.”
For Halloween, I decided to dig out my copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s Complete Tales and Poems, and I can honestly say that, even if this day and age of technology and special effects, where film studios struggle to scare even the hardiest of souls, Poe’s ability to unnerve and disturb the reader still lives on.
Indeed, read The Tell-Tale Heart and you’ll find yourself quite convinced you can hear the beating of a heart. But, of course, you can, for Poe’s writing is so unsettling that it is your own heart you can hear, thumping out of your chest.
As with all great writers, Poe has more than just horror in his box of tricks. The Masque of the Red Death for example is simply beautiful to read; the descriptions of the rooms, as the figure parades through the house, are so wonderful, that you cannot help but become immersed in the story.
I know a lot of readers often shy away from reading the classics, but there are few works which have aged so incredibly well as these. One almost wonders how they have gone ignored by Hollywood for so long, although perhaps we should be grateful for that, for it is in the subtlety of his writing where Poe’s true genius shines out.
It is quite remarkable, and a true testament to Edgar Allen Poe’s writing, that today, nearly 200 years after these tales and poems were first written, we still continue to absorb them so eagerly.
This beautiful reproduction pictured above is a must have for any owner, and I really recommend purchasing it, from The Book Depository.