Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review of "Edgar Allan Poe - The Fever Called Living" by Paul Collins - Illuminating the Dark Life and Literary Career of Edgar Allan Poe

Nevermore will I wonder about the troubled path that Edgar Allan Poe trod; Paul Collins has illuminated that dark journey through life.  In 100 very sparse and concise pages, Mr. Collins has captured both the salient facts about Poe's life and the ethos of his troubled pilgrimage and literary career.

As a result of reading the author's carefully chosen prose and excerpts from Poe's own writing, I feel as if I have a much deeper understanding of Poe's rocky journey as a writer and as a human being and would-be philosopher.  The title of the book is very fitting: "Edgar Allan Poe - The Fever Called Living."  The "Fever Called Living" phrase is culled from Poe's late work, a poem entitled "To Annie."

"Thank Heaven! the crisis - 
The danger is past,
And the lingering illness,
Is over at last - 
And the Fever called 'Living'
Is conquer'd at last"

Poe himself lived his life at a feverish pace and pitch, and left behind a legacy of memorable stories and phrases, as well as providing a spark for authors like Arthur Conan Doyle who drew inspiration from Poe's "Murders In The Rue Morgue" as the proto-detective and mystery novel.  Poe's was a life was cut short by drink and disease, but it was a life worth celebrating and remembering.  Mr. Collins has helped us to do that with style that would have made Poe smile..



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