Here at eNotes, we would NEVER let Halloween pass without a few good scares from the masters of horror! Let’s all take a break from the tedious terror of government shutdowns and 404 Errors of the new healthcare law and enjoy some scares that are a lot more fun.
1. “The shortest horror story: The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.”
― Frederic Brown
2. “At bottom, you see, we are not Homo sapiens as all. Our core is madness. The prime directive is murder. What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle. And that is what the Pulse exposed five days ago.” – from Cell by Stephen King
Mark your calendars and make some plans! November 1st is National Author’s Day. In 1929, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs created the day to honor America’s writers; in 1949, the day was officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Congress. The resolution states, in part, that “[b]y celebrating author’s day as a nation, we would not only show patriotism, loyalty and appreciation of the men and women who have made American literature possible but would also encourage and inspire others to give of themselves in making a better America.”
Most of these historic places are privately staffed or state-run, meaning that even if the government shutdown continues, you should be able to visit these homes, museums, and locations:
Called “America’s Shakespeare,” Edgar Allan Poe created or mastered the short story, detective fiction, science fiction, lyric poetry and the horror story. His dark genius has invited children and adults to read and love literature for over 150 years.
Built by Twain’s father-in-law, Twain called this retreat “The Cozy Nest.” It is located on the campus of Elmira College. Twain’s grave is also located in the town of Elmira.
Yesterday marked the anniversary of the publication Edgar Allan Poe‘s classic, creepy poem “The Raven.” Although there is some dispute, the first publication of the work is generally attributed to The New York Mirror. The poem made Poe a star, but sadly, not a fortune.
In the poem, a raven continuously visits a man who has been unlucky in love. The object of his affections, a woman named “Lenore” has been lost to him evermore. The poem’s internal rhymes and alliteration, along with its spooky, supernatural content made its lines easy to remember and it soon became incredibly popular.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore —
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this and nothing more.”
to render it manifest that no one point in its composition is referrible [sic] either to accident or intuition — that the work proceeded, step by step, to its completion with the precision and rigid consequence of a mathematical problem.
Let us dismiss, as irrelevant to the poem per se, the circumstance — or say the necessity — which, in the first place, gave rise to the intention of composing a poem that should suit at once the popular and the critical taste.
Poe’s formula obviously worked, as it is still popular with both critics and the public alike to this day.
Feeling like you want a little fright? Take a listen to the perennially creepy Christopher Walken read the poem in its entirety: