The owner of the Italian restaurant across the street from the Pandemonium Art Gallery, which displays some of my artwork, is holding an Edgar Allan Poe-themed art auction on October 17th, and asked Jane at the gallery if any of her artists wanted to make something for the auction; he specifically asked after me, because he liked “The Fate of Centeotl.”
I knew that artist submissions would mostly zero in on the first-string Poe standards: “The Raven,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “Murders in the Rue Morgue.” I downloaded all five volume of the collected works (ebooks and public domain are a match made in heaven), and waded through the man’s output — I’m on Volume 5 right now. Two things I learned:
- Although Poe is best known these days as a writer of the macabre, more than half his published output was parodies, satires, and other humorous essays which have not aged well.
- There really aren’t any “hidden gems” to be had — the best-known of Poe’s work is also the best of Poe’s work.
Despite wanting to draw inspiration from a lesser-known story, then, I found myself drawn to the imagery of “The Masque of the Red Death.” Skulls, clocks… who could ask for anything more?