The submission deadline for our first issue of the Limping Devil Press Journal has officially passed. Surprisingly, we slept last night; your submissions were read with multiple cups of coffee (Voltaire might be proud of us, though certainly not impressed). After all the reading, we would not dare spoil the surprise; but, we will tell you a few things.
To taper off from all the reading, we did what any insatiable literature lovers would do: we read some more. One of our submissions reminded of us of Edgar Allan Poe. The piece in question is a short story reminiscent of some very Poe elements. Inspired by the mood and theme, we hit the bookshelves, Internet, and former class assignments to retrieve some of Poe’s finest work.
The submission had perfect timing, since the Limping Devil Press blog is focusing on the short story these days. We called to mind our favorite short stories and authors and we are looking forward to sharing them in the coming posts. First up: Poe – he enabled us all to agree; the writer has a certain something, whether one adores him or not.
Edgar Allan Poe tends to illicit strong feelings about his work. Mention his name in literary, or other, conversation and someone within the group will have a strong opinion on him. A friend of Limping Devil Press has sworn off “The Raven” while pop culture embraces the poem.
As we gathered our thoughts about Poe, images surfaced of a man on the verge of tears surrounded by ravens. Beyond Poe’s apprehensive gaze is a highly skilled storyteller. He may have been one of the writers we slogged through in high school, but there is so much more to Poe than “Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Tell Tale Heart”. He is no loner required reading. What beckons us back to him?
Poe’s work is sustainable. We do not re-shelve his books with a sigh; he continues to teach us, his readers. He continues to show use how to frighten, unnerve, and lean against borders. He lifts the curtain of social veneer and reveals the myth of “normal”. Poe’s revelations about social classes dispel all of the other American myths. He called into question so much of what American society, and society as a whole, deems sacred, commonplace, and tradition.
This week, we are reading the writer of mystery and horror. The writer of exposure and confrontation, in his own way of course. We have gathered up our own favorite short stories of his to revisit and reconsider with the help of Poe Stories, a website dedicated to the authors and his stories. Returning our attention to this American master of the short story and horror, we hope to discover, or rediscover, what is stirring beneath the surface in the States, in the collective society, and in the psyche.