Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Good Day for Fiction

On this date in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe was born. He is known, of course, for his wonderfully eerie tales of terror, horror, and the macabre, many of which have been made into some of the worst movies of all time. He is also the author of two of my favorite poems: The Raven and The Bells. Who but Poe could use the word tintinnabulation in a sentence, and who else could write a line like,

"Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

Oh, and nevermore is when the Baltimore Ravens will beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. So there.

Today is also the birthday (in 1887) of literary critic, author, and all-around fascinating curmudgeon Alexander Woollcott, a charter member of the Algonquin Round Table and the fellow Harpo Marx once said "looks like something that had gotten loose from the Macy's Day parade." He was known for his devastating critiques of stage plays he didn't like, and once said "I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it."

Perhaps someone should tell Congress.

And speaking of fiction, you may be interested in this article which examines the efforts by some people to make sure that American history agrees with their rose-tinted view: Tennessee Tea Parties Demand Textbooks Contain No Mean Things About Founding Fathers. This is what happens when you insist on wearing a tricorn hat that's too tight, waving a Gadsden flag, and insist on shouting at length about things of which you actually know nothing.

And that, Dear Readers, is all for today.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



KathyA said...

"No mean things????" They actually used those words?

Poor Poe -- just a tragic figure -- and largely misunderstood.

Mike said...

Tintinnabulation IS a sentence.