Friday, April 18, 2014
P is for...Edgar Allan Poe and Chuck Palahniuk
It's Friday (Friday, Friday...damn you Rebecca Black!) and we're moving on to the letter P for the A-Z Challenge. Today is all about: Edgar Allan Poe and Chuck Palahniuk. So it's all a little bit on the darker side...
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
I have loved everything I've ever read that Poe has written. His darker, Gothic material has always been among my favorites. A writer during the American Romantic Movement, Poe is best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre; though is was also a writer of satires, humorous tales, and hoaxes. He is also one of the earliest writers of short fiction in America, in addition to being considered the inventor of detective fiction; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was heavily influence by Poe. Though his personal life was mired with controversy (alcoholism, drugs, marriage to his 13-year-old cousin), his work was always well-received and he was one of the most respected literary critics of his time. His success, while fairly prominent in the US, was even greater in Europe, especially France thanks to the translations of his work by Charles Baudelaire (see my B post). Since his mysterious death, Poe has been represented in popular culture, often as a mad genius or tormented artist. Today, you can visit the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore (reopened in 2013) which is home to the Edgard Allan Poe Society.
*Recommendation: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The Cask of Amontillado"
Chuck Palahniuk (1962-)
I love Chuck Palahniuk for several reasons. 1) He's a Northwest author (Washington/Oregon; have to support the locals). 2) His work is crazy and demented. 3) He's just plain awesome! The first time I read something of Palahniuk's, I was a freshman in college. My fiction professor assigned Fight Club. I had seen the movie before and loved it, but the book is freakin' awesome. A member of the Portland Cacophony Society, inspiration for Project Mayhem in Fight Club, Palahniuk didn't begin writing fiction until his mid-thirties. His earlier novels were very similar in style. Most of the characters were represented by marginalized individuals who acted out with self-destructive aggression. However, as Palahniuk moved into his later work, his novels were marked by a satirical horror story aspect. All are very minimalistic in style, mimicking how a person would actually speak. He has also drawn much of his philosophical and intellectual concepts from the work of Foucault and Camus. If you are looking for something to turn your stomach a bit, then look no further than Palahniuk's work.
*Recommendation: Haunted...it's twisted
Who are some of your favorite P writers?