Thursday, December 31, 2009

I offer this Book of Truths

In 1848, Poe published the book that he thought would serve as his major posthumous legacy. He was ultimately wrong, but Eureka still interests both scholars and mainstream Poe fans. In his introduction, Poe addressed his audience:
To the few who love me and whom I love — to those who feel rather than to those who think — to the dreamers and those who put faith in dreams as in the only realities — I offer this Book of Truths, not in its character of Truth-Teller, but for the Beauty that abounds in its Truth; constituting it true. To these I present the composition as an Art-Product alone: let us say as a Romance; or, if I be not urging too lofty a claim, as a Poem.
2009 has brought Poe back to the forefront of the American consciousness, and even internationally. Poe fervor was roaring in January and again in October. Ultimately, did the Poeists broaden our understanding of Poe, or did it merely re-hash the "usual" narrow stuff in his oeuvre? I don't know and I don't think any of us can predict Poe's longevity.

In the end, the Poe Calendar and the Poe Calendar Blog were my 200th birthday presents to Poe. In case you're interested, I totaled 202 posts for his 200th birthday (in varying qualities, I admit). In 2009, I visited Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, New York (and ultimately canceled a Richmond trip) on his behalf. I have given lectures, presented papers, screened films, published articles, assisted in a library exhibit, and tried to draw more and more people to Poe. Was I successful? I don't know. I always say it this way: I don't do any of this stuff for me. I do it for him.

Thank you, Edgar, for being a part of who I am. I can't help but believe your introduction to Eureka was written for people like me. And thank you, anyone out there reading these little bits of Poe enthusiasm. Hopefully, you'll follow me over to my new blog.

Though I'm not continuing this blog in 2010, I will leave it up intact as a resource to others. The site is easily searchable, especially using the categories for each post (a list of them is in the sidebar). Anyone with questions is welcome to contact me.



S.J. Chambers said...

Bravo, Rob.

Well done.

Kristen M. said...

Thank you for so much fascinating information about Poe this year! It was the perfect companion to my reading challenge and I definitely have a better sense of who he was as a man and an author after this past year.

Happy New Year!

Gina said...

You've done a wonderful job, Rob, and I'm so glad you're going to keep blogging elsewhere. Thank you and happy New Year!

Ed said...

And thank you, Rob. You've created a great resource for Poe with this blog. The Poe Calendar Blog has been the best Poe internet site in the Bicentennial Year. I look forward to your future projects.

Anonymous said...

ohmigod, no!!!!!!!!!!!! i've enjoyed this blog on poe so damn much. *thanks for the memories, dah, dah, dah, dah, etc (ala bob hope, get it?)*

take care,and keep blogging. i'll be reading!

all the best,


David said...

Congratulation from Spain, and thank you for the 200th year.

Jeff said...

Outstanding piece of work! What a great contribution to Poe scholarship.