Monday, November 24, 2008
A Poe Legend and a Book Quiz
by Julia Buckley
In honor of our blog's namesake, I wanted to share an Edgar Allan Poe anecdote that I read in Robert Hendrickson's American Literary Anecdotes. It seems that Poe created something that is now so rare it is a collector's dream:
"In 1827 the eighteen-year-old Poe published anonymously his first collection, Tamerlane and Other Poems, which consisted of poems written when he was twelve or thirteen. Brought out by Boston printer Calvin S.F. Thomas, the number of copies unknown, the forty-page paperbound book in tea-colored wrappers described its author only as "A Bostonian." For some unknown reason, the book was suppressed, and just a dozen copies have survived. The book is known as the "black tulip and Holy Grail of American book collecting." In 1988, a collector found a stained, frayed copy in a New Hampshire antique store; he bought it for 15 dollars, and it was expected to sell at auction for 300,000."
I can only imagine the chill in that collector's bones when he spotted his treasure. And while I'm on the subject of wonderful literature, I will rather clumsily segue into my other topic for the day. :)
I sometimes view books as I do flavors, and I crave various sorts at various times. Often I want a good old fashioned crime novel with a hard-boiled detective and lots of sassy dialogue. Other times I want a romantic suspense novel, and I curl in my chair with a tome and a cup of tea. Still others I long for something funny yet mysterious.
In the same way that I have book moods, THE BOOK QUIZ suggests that I have a book personality. I share it with you now so that you can determine which book most closely matches you (or at least your mood today). I've taken the quiz more than once, and I'm not always the same book--but usually they're books I've read, which I find interesting.
See for yourselves, and share your results!
Today I was HUCKLEBERRY FINN.