Profs and Pints Richmond presents: “Poe’s Mastery of Horror,” with Hal Poe, professor of faith and culture at Union University, former president of Richmond's Edgar Allan Poe Museum, and author of Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to his Tell-Tale Stories and Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of the Universe.
Unlike most of his contemporary writers, Edgar Allan Poe remains, more than 170 years after his death, popular and widely read for fun. His horror stories still give a chill, a shudder, and a shock, making a scholarly discussion of them the perfect treat for a Halloween night.
Come join a devoted scholar of Edgar Allan Poe’s writings (and distant cousin of the famed author) for in-depth look at why Poe’s horror stories work so well and so skillfully draw in readers, setting a gold standard for horror through our own day.
We’ll also examine how Poe built on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to develop science fiction, so much so that he is regarded by the French as that genre's father. And we’ll look at how Poe’s dissatisfaction with the norms of horror resulted in his invention of a new kind of story: detective fiction.
In addition, you’ll learn how Poe crafted the ultimate horror story, and in so doing proposed a rudimentary form of Relativity Theory, Big Bang cosmology, Chaos Theory, strong and weak nuclear force, and much more. You’ll also find out how Poe’s approach to storytelling provided the basis for feature length films by pioneering film director D.W. Griffith.
You’ll end up with a new appreciation of why Poe’s love of the macabre became as infectious as the red death, and why Poe’s work continues to creepily resonate like a beating heart beneath floorboards. You’ll meet the Edgar Allan Poe you never knew, and you’ll get a good scare along the way. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)
Image: From an 1849 daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe by an unknown photographer. (Wikimedia Commons)