2010-10-27 / Living & Style

Just Jakin

BY JEAN RUTHErFOrD

As I nodded nearly napping... bet you have no problem guessing those famous words are from the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. And I also bet many of you have been given a chill when reading one of his spooky stories.

When I was a kid, we loved to check one of his books out at Halloween and take turns reading a spooky story in a dark room only lit by a flash light. Or watching one of the old black and white movies inspired by Poe. I still think “Premature Burial” was one of the scariest.

Some could say that Edgar Allen Poe was the king of the macabre. What some people may not realize is Poe’s contributions to other areas of literature. Poe also wrote science fiction and detective stories... opening the doors for and inspiring many future writers including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells.

Another surprise I’ve discovered about Poe was he was very interested in cryptograms. Cryptogram is a type of puzzle that consists of a short piece of encrypted text usually using other letters or numbers, called ciphers, to represent the original letters. Poe incorporated ciphers into some of his detective stories and it became a sensation. Poe’s cryptograms played a major role in cryptograms being printed in magazines and newspapers. You can still see these puzzles being used today.

So this Halloween I would like to tip my hat to Edgar Allen Poe, cryptographer, sci-fi writer, detective novelist, and still one of the scariest guys I’ve ever read.

If you would like to learn more about Edgar Allen Poe or are just looking for a good book to read come and see what the Jakin Community Library & Museum has to offer.

We are open from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday – Friday.

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