Monday, January 19, 2009

We're Taking Poe Back (Revisited)

Today, January 19th, is Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. In October of 2007, I photographed local Poe impersonator Helen McKenna Uff for Edward Petite's City Paper story on why he belongs in Philadelphia. For the cause, she was gracious enough to let us tie her up and place her in the back of a Lincoln Towncar.

Last week, in light of Poe's 200th birthday, Edward Petite penned another piece for CP "Goodbye Rocky, Good Night Ben"

"Ben Franklin was a great icon for a time when we wanted to whitewash the past, see it in terms of all its possibility, but not its limitations. Franklin's story is the buttoned-down version of the American Dream, complete with corny aphorisms. Don't get me wrong — Franklin was brilliant and led an extraordinary life. But have you read his autobiography lately? Not very inspiring for most people living in a 21st-century city.

Poe is the creative genius for our time, unafraid to show the wicked along with the good. Willing to work hard and keep pursuing the dream, even when life kept knocking him down. Off-center, but firm in his conviction that his was the right way to look at the world. And in the end, he was right.

That's why we still read him." FULL STORY

Edward Pettit, better known as the Philly Poe Guy, is a writer and educator. He writes the Ed & Edgar blog at the Bibliothecary blogsite.

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