Last Thursday was Poe's 203rd birthday, and in his honor Dan Boujoulian, Poe fan and keeper of The Macabre Edgar Allan Poe page on Facebook, organized what I believe was the second annual Edgar Poe Birthday Worldwide Reading. (And ain't that a mouthful!) I missed the boat on this last year, which I deeply regret, as the 2011 selection was my fave, "The Cask of Amontillado." This year's selection was "The Pit and the Pendulum."
What the "Worldwide Reading" bit consists of is recording yourself reading a passage of the selected text and submitting it to be merged with readings done by other fans...well, worldwide. To be honest, though I did remember Poe's birthday on January 19 (being a fan of his myself), I hadn't been on Facebook for a few days and missed Dan's plea for a handful of New Yorkers to join him at Poe Cottage in Da Bronx on Jan. 21 to record some "P & P" reading there.
Poe's actual birthday proved rather a brutal and soul-crushing day for me (through no fault of the dearly departed gentleman himself) so I'd intended to pick up a bottle of amontillado on my way home from work and sip it genteelly while reading "The Cask" before bed. But my local liquor store was out of it so I purchased some port instead and proceeded to fall asleep without cracking either it or "The Cask" open. I remedied this lapse last night, consuming copious quantities of the port while finally catching up on my Facebookery. Pleasantly pissed, I read Dan's post that only one New Yorker had volunteered to go to Poe Cottage and more were needed. Tipsily troubled that I'd been a slacker fan (who'd *yet* to visit Poe Cottage, for shame!!!), and forgetting the snowstorm predicted for today, I e-mailed the fella and said I'd join in.
And, in spite of the fact that the weather was wet and raw and my fingers froze to, fro, and during the reading (we did a bit of recording from the Poe Cottage porch), I'm really glad I trudged through the slushy ick covering the Fordham section of Bronx today. It was such a pleasure meeting and chatting with fellow Poe fans and actually getting to sit at Poe's desk for some of the recording!!! (Squee!) The grand, worldwide recording mashup should be ready for public consumption in a few weeks - can't wait to see how it all turned out!
|Your humble bloggy-blogger, standing before Virginia Poe's bed.|