What one thinks about any given author is entirely a matter of personal opinion. One either enjoys reading a particular author’s work, or one doesn’t. Fortunately, in the case of Edgar Allan Poe, a sampling of the late American author and poet’s writings is easily attainable and very easily perused. His most famous works are very short stories like The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, and The Masque of the Red Death, with The Fall of the House of Usher being longer but easily digested. Each of these stories presents gothic images and passages that became part of American literary tradition. His poem The Raven is a classic about a man sitting alone in his study lamenting the loss of his love when he is visited by a large black raven that responds to his queries by stating “Nevermore” (“Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). Poe’s work has endured, and inspired many films – mostly low-budget ‘B-movies’ produced during the early 1960s and featuring the actor Vincent Price – and Poe is credited with inventing the modern detective story with his stories The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget, and The Purloined Letter, each of which featured a detective named Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin. Arthur Conan Doyle, creator Sherlock Holmes, would credit Poe with inspiring his own work.
Personally, this educator is a fan of Poe’s writing. I have long enjoyed sitting back with a volume of his stories in the evening. As noted above, however, how one responds to any individual author or poet is completely subjective. It is up to the student to familiarize him- or herself with the writings of the author in question and to formulate one’s own opinion. Reading the stories and poem referenced will take very little time and provide the foundation necessary to form an opinion.