THE POE PAPERS by Nancy L. Zaroulis


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Zaroulis openly acknowledges her debt to Henry James--how could she not? The similarity to Aspern Papers is whopping: man seeks famous dead author's letters to mistress, now an old lady living with a young lady who aids man in his mission. Here the author is Poe, the aged mistress is Annie Richmond (famous from ""For Annie"" and ""Landor's Cottage""), the young female is Annie's daughter Lenore (Lenore!), and the narrating man is an 1890 dandy who sounds like a Gothic heroine whenever he gets the least bit excited: ""My heart beat painfully in my agitated breast. . . . Shock--fear--wonder--a very dreadful Awe--overwhelmed me."" After this twerp lies his way into the Richmond house, Annie demands that he dress and talk as ""Eddie"" at teatime, and soon he is Poe, caught up in a nightmare of nightshirt sex, murder, and madness. Except for one or two of Annie's outraged outbursts (""Men of genius do not clear their throats. . . You--you--biographer!""), this ""Tale of Passion"" is for the birds, one in particular. Quoth the Raven: What a bore.

Pub Date: May 17th, 1977
ISBN: 1933648643
Publisher: Putnam