Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Book Worship Volume III

Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe

With the first hint of Fall in the air, whose thoughts do not turn to coffins, plagues and dismemberment? We know ours do. When it comes to these morbid subjects, who better than Edgar Allan Poe?



Our earliest recollections of Poe’s work would of course be memorizing ‘The Raven’ in school. It must have stuck with us – just a quick look around the house and one can spot five ravens. One has made a nest in some gilded paper flowers in the front parlor, another guards the haunted dollhouse in the foyer. A pair sits here at the desk (one wearing a diamond brooch). And lastly there is the cyclops raven on Seraph’s chest, surrounded by demon bones, saw blades, and creepy looking talons (but that is a story for another day, dear ones…)



Sometimes we feel like the ‘Home for Wayward Books’. One book or another is always following us home and taking up residence. There are books on shelves where they belong, but there are also rouge gangs of books that run up and down the hallway and generally disrupt the peace.

We acquired this delightful edition at a local thrift store. Every so often you can feel a certain sentience in older books. It is as if they have soaked up a certain essence of life, or have begun living out the stories they hold between their covers. When we found this book it seemed to be feeling misunderstood and rejected. (Who wouldn’t be when pressed between some crappy baseball cards and a plastic Lord of the Rings sword in a glass case for all to see?)

Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are brought to life by Irish illustrator Harry Clarke. Morbid deeds take place amid vast pools of black, figures lurk in the shadows and indescribable creatures creep along the bottom of pages.


Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe
(with Illustrations by Harry Clarke)
© 1935 Tudor Publishing Company New York


It's pale morrow landscape,
Has now risen through the bleak night
over the moors and mountains,
Flies the hunting ravens...searching

(“Journey through the Cold Moors Of Svarttjern” by Carpathian Forest)

2 comments:

AT THE PICKLED HUTCH said...

What fantastic illustrations in this book. I can see how it jumped into your hands at the store knowing it would be finding a good home.
Lisa & Alfie

Pigtown-Design said...

I drive by his grave every afternoon and live about .5 miles from his house in Baltimore.

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