The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #103: Edgar Allan Poe

General Introduction
- Should we talk about the weather?
– Listener feedback
– The Purgatory Experiment

Poe Myths
- Marrying his cousin
– Drug addiction
– Alcoholism
– Death
– A self-portrait

Magazine Culture
- Literary centers
– A broad audience
– Self-fashioning through scandal
– Poe as mercenary
– Poe as editor

Poe’s Narrators
- “I’m not crazy”
– The unreliable narrator
– How much third-person?
– Found footage

Poe’s Poetry
- In love with their own sound
– Nathan reads “The Bells”
– Scanning Poe
– Is Poe being sarcastic?
– Proto-Dada

Poe Movies
- Why the cultural fascination?
– The Vincent Price series
– Cusack-as-Poe
The Following
- The other Raven

Bad Student Readings
- Moralism
– Autobiography
– Poe over Donne
– Does the emperor have clothes?
– Liking things for the wrong reason

4 comments
CarterS
CarterS

I haven't listened to the episode yet, but I won't have time to for a few days yet, so I have to echo Charles here; Poe may not be the best, or high art, or whatever, but then neither are Dumas, Lovecraft, and I would add, Robert E. Howard, but I'll read them till the day I die. Doesn't intent have anything to do with the quality of literature? Not all literature is intended for grandiose sublimity; sometimes it's for fun, and if it fulfills its specific telos well, then let's accept it on its own merits! I'll reserve any more judgmental tirades until I actually listen to the episode, though; I could end up eating crow (or raven?) after listening.

Charles H
Charles H

Well, I guess that settles that.  I'm lowbrow.  As if liking Pizza Hut, George Thorogood, and UFC wasn't enough, my enjoyment of Poe appears to be the nail in the coffin of any pretensions I may have had at being cultured, and has established me as a tasteless knuckle-dragger.  So be it. But seriously, guys. You called The Raven a TURD and said, "the public has always had terrible taste?"  If that's your attitude, then y'all can just just stay away from my Robert Service.  I forbid you to do a Service episode.  While we're on the topic, I also forbid you to do episodes on the following writers, unless you have something nice to say: Alexandre Dumas, Robert Heinlein, Arthur Conan Doyle, George R.R. Martin, H.P. Lovecraft, and Robert Jordan. "Why don't we see Emily Dickinson movies"? Because you can't do a movie to the tune of Yellow Rose of Texas. And of course there is a moral lesson in the Cask of Amontillado. The lesson is that Machiavelli was right that “Men must either be caressed or else annihilated; they will revenge themselves for small injuries, but cannot do so for great ones; the injury therefore that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance.”  And as for the reputation of the "noble and playful raven" being ruined by Poe: Good.  Never trust a corvid.  Ravens, crows, scrub jays, none of them. Never trust species that demonstrate primate-level intelligence in spite of their lack of a neocortex.  I warn you, one day they will rise and overthrow the primates and then you'll be sorry.

DavidGrubbs
DavidGrubbs

Charles H Well, as the Poe fan in the trio, I'm dragging my knuckles right there beside you, Charles! And I think we did say SOME nice things about Poe, though, yes: The Raven was called a turd by certain of our number.