Death, Disease & Pandemic: How Horror Writers In The Past Have Translated Illness (Part 3: Edgar Allan Poe and Anne Rice)

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Please read this excellent post from that wonderful writer, KC Redding-Gonzalez!

Zombie Salmon (the Horror Continues)

In the example of Bram Stoker we see how a writer makes sense of a pandemic when he or she is a witness to the event. With King and Matheson, we saw how a writer imagines living through the event. But what if pandemic actually claims someone you love?

Horror has two prominent writers whose lives were touched by such a personal loss in profound and painful ways, tearing at their very souls to the point that they did not so much choose to write about it, as much as they were tormented into doing so.

Both Edgar Allan Poe and Anne Rice lost close family members to the unthinkable: Poe repeatedly lost the women in his life to disease – most commonly tuberculosis, a pandemic that seemed unstoppable and endless in his lifetime. And Anne Rice lost her daughter to a new kind of pandemic: the kind that goes…

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7 thoughts on “Death, Disease & Pandemic: How Horror Writers In The Past Have Translated Illness (Part 3: Edgar Allan Poe and Anne Rice)

  1. it’s a repeating pattern, but the essential message is, where does your Soul go after the journeys end, perhaps, the suddenness of the current change, is the story of the past, retold, we are custodians of the earth, we better care for it, looking forward to reading the other part of the blog, amen

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  2. A wonderful and timely essay. I’ve read both Poe and Rice extensively and I appreciate how Redding-Gonzales talks about the tension between how their works are seen and understood by their fans and how they are textually analyzed by literary critics. There is definitely something to that. Fans read their books and have an instinctive understanding about the relationship between the authors and disease. It’s nothing new to us. But I often find that literary critics ascribe underlying motives to the writers that I’ve never seen, and it’s nice to see that described here. I always instinctively understood Rice’s questioning of the universe, even before I knew about her daughter, and Poe’s connection to disease and darkness is so natural to me, probably because I was always drawn to darkness myself and also because I found myself questioning God at a very young age. I didn’t need to analyze it or contextualize it, it just was and I accepted and appreciated it. Thank you for reposting, Charles.

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