Monday, October 27, 2008


Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849), short story writer, novelist, poet, and perennial favorite around Halloween. One of the earliest practitioners of the short story, Poe is also credited with inventing the detective mystery, but his stock-in-trade was the macabre: The Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Premature Burial, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Tell-Tale Heart. Poe's death was befittingly mysterious, and has been attributed to a variety of causes, including alcoholism, cholera, tuberculosis, drug abuse, and suicide.

I painted his portrait because I've always liked Poe, but confess I first encountered his work in those cheesy 1960s adaptations starring Vincent Price. As I later learned, the films played fast and loose with the stories and sometimes ignored them completely, so it's worth reading the originals some dark night.

Vincent Price still creeps me out. Here, he reads "The Raven."

In "Vincent," a short animated film by Tim Burton, a boy wants to be Vincent Price. The story is narrated by Vincent Price, too. Makes sense.

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