Edgar Allan Poe

130_eapoeEdgar Allan Poe also wrote many stories popular among elementary schoolchildren. At least while Dorian attended school. Mystery stories like The Black Cat or The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Were they considered children’s literature or real literature?

The stories of Allan Poe have probably nothing to do with anything children read before. This is when children probably begin to realize that madness is not to escape from a house at night with your best friend and to become frightened by the secret sounds of wild animals in New Orleans. Real madness was immuring your wife in the wall in the basement and waiting for the police to ask questions. There are mysteries that transcend Holmes’s logic and can only be explained from the parameters of insanity and delirium. A madman hearing the heartbeat of his dead victim, buried two meters below his parquet (The Tell-Tale Heart).

Similarly, when a schoolchild forges his mom’s signature on the grade report, he or she eats lunch in silence, invaded by the daunting shadows of guilt; perhaps shadows only visible to that kid. What if the headmaster had called home in the morning and the whole family was already aware of the fraud and nobody had said anything just to enjoy a little more the child’s suffering?

The thrill of real fear, sometimes related to things not of this world, begins to invade many schoolchildren by grace of Allan Poe. The many sleepless nights, the inability to stop reading, page after page, and then, until one afternoon, that schoolchild might tear one of the blank sheets of the math notebook and would finally have to face their own fears and dreams, shed light on them and turn them into ink, for someone else to read. The seed had been planted in those years of sleepless nights and fantasy worlds that smelled of old paper.