is often called "the Polish Poe" or "the Polish Lovecraft," which are both useful for short-hand, but don't quite capture Grabiński's style. As suggested by China Miéville in the Guardian
, "where Poe's horror is agonised, a kind of extended shriek, Grabinski's is cerebral, investigative. His protagonists are tortured and aghast, but not because they suffer at the caprice of Lovecraftian blind idiot gods: Grabinski's universe is strange and its principles are perhaps not those we expect, but they are principles - rules - and it is in their exploration that the mystery lies.
" If you haven't heard of Grabiński, it is probably because only a few of his works
have recently been translated to English. The primary translator is Miroslaw Lipinski
, who runs a site dedicated to Grabiński
. You can read Lipinksi's translation of Strabismus
(PDF linked inside), and The Wandering Train
online. [more inside]
If you're planning to visit Paris, le Musée d'Orsay
, after the polemic Masculin/Masculin
, will open next month a new exhibition: Gustave Doré (1832-1883): The Power of the Imagination
, and it’s likely there will be a renewed focus on the dark romanticism of the 19th-century French artist. Some of Gustave Doré’s most haunting engravings were for Edgar Allan Poe. And about Poe's Raven that inspired Doré, you can see more at Hyperallergic
Now you know: From February 18 to May 11. Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Once upon a database query, while I pondered weak security,
And many avenues of access via backdoor,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a wiretapping,
As of some one gently sniffing, sniffing at our server's door.
“‘Tis some hacker,” I muttered, “tapping at our server door
Or just a virus, nothing more.” -- The NSA Raven
Lately, I've had some doubts about the level of discourse here on Metafilter. To remedy the situation, here is that great American essayist and thinker, Mr. Edgar Allan Poe, on diddling
. [more inside]
In the first years of the Fifteenth Century Henry III of Castile sent Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo as his ambassador to Samarkand
. His journey introduced him to giraffes and many other sights unknown to Europeans of the time
. Samarkand was then the center of the largest empire in the world, that of Tamerlane the Great (a.k.a Timur), the last of the nomad conquerors
. His capital began as a city of the Sogdians
, which became an important center of culture and trade, as is recorded in these 7th Century wall paintings
. Samarkand was refashioned by Timur and his descendants
, the most famous being the astronomer Ulugh Beg
, and the Timurid legacy is still visible in Samarkand
. After Timur's death, his empire disintegrated, and soon fell into decline, but left enough of a mark to inspire both Christopher Marlowe
and Edgar Allan Poe
. The Russian Empire conquered Samarkand in 1868, and the city was documented in the early 20th Century in color photograhs by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii
(this one's a favorite
) and remained an out of the way place in the Soviet era
In 1919, everyone wanted a copy of the deluxe edition of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination, but not because it was bound in vellum with real gold lettering. It was because of these grim and gorgeous illustrations by Harry Clarke
, which added an extra dose of horror to Poe's already terrifying tales.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which collects many of Poe's most enduring horror stories, including "The Masque Of The Red Death," "The Pit And The Pendulum," "The Telltale Heart,"
and "The Fall Of The House Of Usher,"
was actually first collected and published in 1908, nearly 60 years after Poe's death. This edition was published by George Harrap & Co., and included 24-full page illustrations by Clarke
. Even though the volume cost five guineas (somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 US), it was much in demand and made Clarke's reputation as an illustrator. It's easy to see why, with these gorgeous renditions of often gruesome subjects.
See all 24 illustrations here
The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast talks to director Stuart Gordon about Herbert West - Reanimator (part 1
, part 2
). A prolific director, Gordon is responsible for some of the better adaptations
of Lovecraft's work (and From Beyond
). Currently he is directing Reanimator star Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe
in the one-man shoe Nevermore, which just finished a hugely successful run in LA and is now heading for Poe's hometown of Baltimore
In 1827, a first-time author paid to have a small number of copies of his book Tamerlane and Other Poems, by a Bostonian
printed. When Edgar Allan Poe
later reprinted the book under his own name, he apologized for its poor quality, but the first edition has become one of the most sought after rarities in book collecting. This week
, one of the two copies
in private hands sold for $662,500, but you can flip through this one
Today marks the 200th birthday of Edgar Alan Poe
, and as happens every year the mysterious Poe Toaster
marked the date by placing three red roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac at his Baltimore grave. The identity of the toaster isn't the only question surrounding Poe - his presence in Baltimore and the circumstances of his death remain a mystery
. Some speculate that he may have had rabies
, others that he may have been a victim of cooping
. And while Baltimore embarks on a year long celebration of Poe
some argue that his body shouldn't be there at all
"On the clock striking twelve he appeared slightly agitated, but he soon recovered, walked twice or thrice along the coach house, stopped to bark, staggered, exclaimed 'Halloa old girl!' (his favorite expression) and died... The children seem rather glad of it. He bit their ankles, but that was play..."
So wrote Charles Dickens, describing the death of his pet raven "Grip," in a letter to a friend. Grip has an interesting legacy
. Having served as an eponymous character in Dickens' Barnaby Rudge [full text]
and subsequently inspiring Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven [full text]
, Grip has the distinction of being named a literary landmark
. His taxidermied body
is on display in the Rare Book Department at the Philadelphia Free Library.
Shedding light on one of Baltimore's most famous modern-day mysteries, 92-year-old Sam Porpora is claiming to be the man
who first visited Edgar Alan Poe's grave
every year on his birthday.
, Fritz Eichenberg
, Bernie Wrightson
, at datajunkie
Warning: Non-Thumbnailed galleries and YouTube sidebar. May not be suitable for all CPUs.
The Goats of West Point ”...though only about twenty years of age, had the appearance of being much older. He had a worn, weary, discontented look, not easily forgotten by those who were intimate with him.”
A new book
tells the story of Sergeant Major Edgar Allan Poe
Battery H (.pdf)
, First Artillery
, West Point
, Class of 1834
. And of other famous cadets
I just finished up reading The Turk
by Tom Standage (briefly mentioned in passing here
) a biography of the chess-playing automaton that toured Europe and later the Americas during the pivotal transition from the 18th to the 19th century. The Automaton was invented as an exercise in national pride by Wolfgang von Kempelen,
who considered it a trifle compared to his experiments with mechanical speech synthesis.
As a celebrity, the automaton had historic encounters with Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon, Beethoven, Philidor
and Charles Babbage, and fictional encounters with the monarchs Catherine the Great, George III and Frederick II. Standage credits it with influencing the development of the Difference Engine
, the power loom, Poe's mystery stories
, and Barnum's manipulation of the press.
The myths surrounding have even caught James Randi
, who seems to have been unaware of a colleague's reconstruction
based on notes from the last owner.
The Tell-Tale Heart.
As told via highway signs.
House of Leaves
by Mark Z. Danielewski
is not just a novel, it's an experience. Danielewski's sister, the recording artist Poe
, wrote the soundtrack to the book
. If a novel with its own soundtrack isn't a complete enough experience for you, the book has spawned its own web forum
, to discuss any and all related minutiae.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary...
Ok, but ever wonder what "quaff this kind nepenthe" means, or where "the night's plutonian shore" is? You'll be an expert on "The Raven" in minutes with this interactive annotation of Poe's classic Halloween poem. There are many interesting subjects on this site, which was linked previously in a thread about the mysterious toaster
who leaves cognac at Poe's grave every year on the writer's birthday.