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Tales from the dark side: Poe and more

January 21, 2009 |  3:26 pm

Monday was Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. Sarah Weinman wrote about the unsurprising flurry of Poe books and the good-natured battle to claim his legacy. Poe, who had a habit of getting broke and moving to outrun his creditors, is buried in Baltimore, but Philadelphia, the Bronx, Boston and Richmond, Va., all lay legitimate claim to the man.

Over in the U.K., the Guardian dubs Poe "the man who was arguably the first writer of international stature to emerge from the U.S." (All those rabble-rousing politicians who crafted our Constitution apparently don't count.) His gift, they say, is that "Poe knows we are right to be afraid of the dark.... the significance and richness of his work is such that we should be celebrating his bicentenary by rediscovering it."

In other dark news, the website Writers We've Lost has come back from the dead its months-long hiatus to keep us posted on scribes who've shuffled off this mortal coil. Obituaries and other tips should be e-mailed to MaidenFate@aol.com.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: That's the same print-and-fold Edgar Allan Poe by Brian Gubicza we posted about before. He's just too cool to not revisit.