“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
~ Edgar Allen Poe
It goes without saying that Edgar Allen Poe is one of the most influential writers in history. He created the gothic horror genre of today, as well as detective fiction, and influenced the creation of sci-fi. Without him, Sherlock Holmes would not be the character he became, and the forensic shows of today may be totally different. Also, we would not have the stories that have the capacity to wake us up in the middle of the night and make the dark seem even darker. Poe was an original and a master at what he did.
My first reading of Poe’s was The Telltale Heart, when I was about 12-years-old. I still remember it to this day, and believe that few things scare me as much. It definitely shaped my reading (and other) interests early on, as I still crave stories that lean toward the macabre. If there is something slightly sinister about a movie, book, or song, it draws me in. For this I blame Mr. Poe for opening up my world early on to the dark underbelly of the human psyche, and the ability to imagine a different world with a darker edge. I believe that Poe’s work not only serves to give us a world with darker characters, but challenges us to seek out rational causes for what may seem like supernatural occurrences, all the while maintaining a certain air of the unknown. His mastery of spine-tingling storytelling remains unparalleled.