YMMV / Edgar Allan Poe

  • Genius Bonus: In "The Masque of the Red Death". While most readers can probably tell that Prince Prospero's name is a Shakespeare Shout-Out, comparatively few people probably noticed that the story's entire premise is a subtle Shakespeare Shout-Out as well: it was inspired by Caliban's line "The red plague rid you for learning me your language!" in Act I, Scene 2 of The Tempest.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "The Masque of the Red Death" is about a particularly nasty disease that causes people to die in agony, sweating blood. This was and still is all very fine and creepy, standard for Poe. This plague's symptoms superficially match those of Ebola, discovered more than a century after Poe's death.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Minister D. (who pities the fool), Dupin's nemesis in The Purloined Letter, was the inspiration behind Moriarty and had Magnificent Bastard written all over him.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Poe was a grandmaster at this, rivaled only by H.P. Lovecraft. He was the first writer to elevate the horror story to classic literature.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Griswold's attempt at ruining Poe's reputation after his death did absolutely nothing to Poe's popularity despite the wide acceptance of his outlandish claims. People were thrilled at the idea of reading the work of an 'evil' man.
  • Older Than They Think: Detective Dupin is the direct literary precursor of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Poe almost single-handedly invented the suspense and psychological horror genres. As a consequence, a lot of his work can seems relatively tame, if you read it after reading the writers that he inspired.
  • Values Dissonance: It's pretty safe to say that the Sailor would not have been considered "innocent" in any modern court. Rather, the charges would simply have been changed from murder to reckless endangerment, and animal cruelty. The prosecutors could probably also find something to charge him with for failing to tell authorities that there was a dangerous animal on the loose.
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