Awesome / Edgar Allan Poe

  • Crowning Literature of Awesome: Admittedly not everything, but he had a pretty damned impressive track record.
    • Not only defining Gothic Literature as we still know it today, but also inventing the Detective Story as we know it.
    • Writers still follow Poe's rules on writing short stories.
    • And then there's the lesser known fact that he was the first big-time Caustic Critic of literature. Prior to his brutal and incisive critiques of works, reviews were usually expected to be exclusively positive as critics were hired to "sell" the books. Poe scoffed at that idea and that may be why we have people like Roger Ebert and sites like That Guy with the Glasses today.
  • The Raven, as read by Sir Christopher Lee
  • The Raven, as read by James Earl Jones
  • A German radio adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher. All four actors, Oliver Feld, Tobias Kluckert, Claudia Urbschat-Mingues and Kaspar Eichel all give top-notch performances and the drama is genuinely chilling, with the climax being simultaneously Nightmare Fuel and a Tear Jerker, particularly thanks to Feld's performance as the protagonist Philipp.
  • The entirety of The Masque of the Red Death, but especially the final paragraph:
    And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
  • For an awesome moment for Poe himself, his essay on Maelzel's automated chess player in which he figures out how the contraption does (not) work purely by reasoning.