If Poe Lived in This Era
Edgar Allan Poe, you’ve likely heard of him and whether you’re a fan of his work or not you cannot dent the impact he has left on the horror, short story and poetry culture. However not many people are aware that Poe was not all that popular in his day, in fact his writing was highly and publicly criticized and he was a bit of an outcast. He tried and tried day in and day out to get his works published and sometimes even that was not all that easy to do. Between trying to get published and getting the public to like his work Poe had quite the work to do after writing it. Many authors today complain about getting their work out and marketing but perhaps never truly know the struggle it was for Edgar Allan Poe. On top of all that, his life was also troubled and he was a heavy drinker which was partly the reason his works were so dark and disturbing. Poe was somewhat popular and had a following in his day but was more widely regarded as a success after his death and still today but to me it has raised a big question, what if Poe lived in this era? What if one of the greatest horror writers of all time lived during the time where the public still scrutinizes writers, social media exists helping criticism in volumes but horror is extremely popular?
First, let’s delve a little deeper into that last point. Poe would still be criticized but more likely for how he wrote not necessarily what he wrote. As I said, horror is very popular and he’d probably be as popular as Stephen King if not more popular. Poe would likely sell tons of books, would get tons of publishing deals and be a huge figure in today’s society. I mean just imagine Poe eating one of his haters alive on Facebook or Twitter by humiliating them by writing his comeback in an epic 240 character poem. Did Poe care what people thought of him and his work when he was alive? I’m sure he did but given how motivated he’d be today I’d like to think he’d care way less and let hi writing do the talking. If Poe were alive today horror poetry would be huge and we’d look to him even more for inspiration and help within the genre. Instead we try to eclipse him on Amazon on the top ten of poetry books feeling that if he were still alive and in the top 10 it wouldn’t feel as though we were being beaten by someone who isn’t around to enjoy the success. I’d like to think Poe would be humble, friendly and approachable and he wouldn’t let success go to his head but he’d use it to drive him further to write brilliant pieces of work and even help out his fellow horror poets like myself.
However, for every good idea we must weigh the bad as well. Would the success, stress, fame and public scrutiny get to him? If none of these did then surely his personal and private life would have if it followed him in this era. Between his wife, personal issues and drinking perhaps like many writers after him he would just like it all to end but then again who truly knows as I am merely telling you to consider the idea. It’s better to think of the positive aspect but given we are talking about the morbid man of macabre we simply have to talk about the dark troubling negativity that surrounded him. Speaking of morbid and dark I would also think that today as a society we tend to not only be more open to horror then in Poe’s day but we enjoy even darker and disturbing stuff. Which asks the question, wouldn’t Poe be even darker in his writing today then he was in his day? Imagine how the Raven could be written if it was written today. Instead of Once upon a midnight dreary, we could see something along the lines of “Death pecked away on the darkest of nights making a man look more and more decayed. The point here is that if Poe were alive today he could have been even more deranged and disturbed in his writing which is hard to imagine seeing as he’s the king of macabre now for things he wrote way back when,
Edgar Allan Poe in many ways was a man before his time, a man born in the wrong era, a man who looked at the world as a long dark alleyway longing to be explored and analyzed even if it meant others would scorn him and let him have it. Yet without him people like me may not have been inspired to write and if not Poe then who? Who back then would have dawned the macabre mantle to inspire us horror writers nearly 200 years later? Well luckily we don’t have to wonder because our king and inspiration into the dark world of literature is Poe but if he were alive today, it makes you wonder, oh how it makes us wonder.
Want more Poe? Check out my board on Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com/justinbienvenue/all-things-poe-nevermore/" target="_blank">All Things Poe, Nevermore!