Amoeblog

Edgar Allan Poe auction goes stratospheric ...

Posted by Whitmore, December 4, 2009 09:40pm | Post a Comment
Edgar Allan Poe Auction
“Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.”
 
At Christies Auction House today in New York, an 1827 first edition copy of an Edgar Allan Poe poetry collection, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was sold for $662,500 -- the most ever for a 19th century book of poetry. The 40-page collection, and Poe’s very first publication, was inspired by the work of British poet Lord Byron. Only a dozen copies are known to exist of the fifty initially pressed. Oddly enough Poe did not attach his name to Tamerlane; the authoEdgar Allan Poe Tamerlaner is only indicated as "A Bostonian." Also sold at auction was a two-page, hand written manuscript containing the first 8 stanzas (of 16 stanzas) of "For Annie" ("Thank Heaven: the crisis --- the danger is past....") from 1849, written just months before his death at age 40. The manuscript, which was written for a one of Poe's loves, Nancy L. Richmond, far exceeded the $50,000-$70,000 estimate, netting a mind blowing $830,500 at auction, breaking the 19th century literary manuscript record.
 
The book and manuscript, both somewhat worn and wrinkled, came from the private library of television producer William E. Self (he was the executive in charge of production for such classic shows as Batman, Lost in Space, The Green Hornet, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, and Land of the Giants). Both pieces were sold to anonymous bidders.
 
“As for myself, I am simply Hop-Frog, the jester — and this is my last jest.”

Happy 200th Birthday Edgar Allan Poe

Posted by Whitmore, January 19, 2009 08:11am | Post a Comment

Two hundred years
ago today, the greatest of early American writers was born in Boston, Massachusetts: Edgar Allan Poe. The master of the macabre, horror and one of the earliest practitioners of the short story is also considered by many to be the originator of the detective/crime fiction genre. In celebration I originally thought I’d blather on as if possessed by some dark unfathomable tide, revel in the sound that takes the form of a demon. But I convinced myself that I shall not seek to convince. Am I here to exorcise my own demons beyond some memory of my past bliss; deceits, they lie in the anguish of today. Would such blather hasten some clever paranormal patter? Alas, for you Poe, I recollect one vanquished thought, “Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.” I won’t diddle. No one needs to read my diddle. Instead here are some of Edgar Allan Poe's greatest quotes:
 
“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”
 
“Stupidity is a talent for misconception.”
 
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
 
“Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of the truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant.”
 
“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.”

“The true genius shudders at incompleteness -- and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.”
 
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.”
 
“I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity.”
 
“All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream”
 
“Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them.”
 
“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
 
“I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect -- in terror.”
 
“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

Haunted by the Brutal Splendor of old 45's, #5

Posted by Whitmore, March 5, 2008 08:35am | Post a Comment

I am as derelict as any opium reveler’s after-dream and in this wizened condition I’m aware of only the shrill din of an entire city cracking. Maybe I sit too close to the sheer brink of ruin, and lunacy, and guzzling a couple of dozen shots of espresso - this morning’s tomfoolery- only raises the bedlam quotient. Nonetheless, early this afternoon I found my way to Amoeba, where now I’m standing, mostly decaffeinated, on my desk, peering out of my office window into the anxious mirrored eyes of the CNN building across the way, looming bluntly above the squat Hollywood landscape. Below me, a rush of emergency vehicles flies down Cahuenga, and through the Sunset Blvd intersection.

Something is going on
somewhere, and probably something big, but do I really need to know? During this whole dull, dark, and luckless day, when clouds hung oppressively low outside, they hung even lower in here. Working alone, pricing yet another dreary stretch of 1980’s 45’s, I found myself longing for something more; more grand, more scintillating, more psychedelic, funky or even French! Maybe Australian! Maybe tomorrow … I now know what it was, what first caught my eye and what originally troubled me about CNN’s massive edifice; a sense of insufferable gloom pervades its spirit, like Poe’s House of Usher, grappling with its own shadows and history and treacheries. And as I scan its glass façade, I see just a bit of me waving back in the reflection: is there more here, more than the eye can see? If questioning brings knowledge, and knowledge brings dread, what’s next?

And that’s why I thought you might like to see all these record company 45 sleeves from around the globe. And now, maybe, its time to return to the real world,  and hold off on that brutal splendor blather for a while... then again, I just started reading the Cask of Amontillado by Poe, " ... thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge ..."

Continue reading...

Haunted by the Brutal Splendor of old 45's, #4

Posted by Whitmore, February 29, 2008 11:20am | Post a Comment
Maybe it’s the spring thaw, and not self-doubt. This muddle I seem to be writing about is in reality a torrent of mud and ice pushing me down hill. Why? Because it’s almost March, Easter is around the corner, (at least I hope so … I gave up television for Lent!). If winter is done, spring must be near. Perhaps, there isn't a fiasco-muddle-shamble going on here after all. Nor is there a voice telling me I’m in the middle of a crisis of faith. (Then again, there may be a voice telling me I’m not experiencing a crisis of faith). Alas! Maybe I should just put away the Edgar Allan Poe collection; his gloomy narcotic influence has been forcibly illustrated here repeatedly and is perhaps detrimental to your entertainment, dear reader. What am I suppose to do? Just write a straight forward description / history about the ephemeral nature of 45 sleeves! It might be said of this blog, blather written in babble -"blab la bla blab la bla"- It does not permit itself to be read! And why not? There are ideas which do not permit themselves to be thought out. Ideas die often in their infancy: wringing their sweaty little hands, furrowing their soft miniature brows, pushing away ghostly acknowledgments as quickly as possible, otherwise something bad might reveal itself, and then the idea ... expires. Now and then, the conscience of an idea takes up a burden so immense that it can only be thrown into some late night rant. And thus the essence of this blog is divulged. There you have it, thank you Mr. Poe!

Haunted by the Brutal Splendor of old 45's, #3

Posted by Whitmore, February 24, 2008 06:42pm | Post a Comment
The truth - it’s my raw nerves - very, very caffeinated raw nerves eating away at the lining of my stomach. Goddamn! I’ve been, still am, crawling up walls and across ceilings. A few triple espressos and shazzam! I am the Fly! Caffeine has ripped a hole through my brain, certainly through my gut and, holy java juice batman, my sharpened senses wield machetes; heightened Terror Alert Level – “blood dripping magenta!” CRACK! Jesus H, what is that noise! My tinnitus is screaming like hordes of car alarms pinging in a Brentwood parking lot after an earthquake. I can hear all things in heaven and on earth and in hell, simultaneously. For Christ’s sake, I think my neighbor is playing a Ricky Martin CD! Whatever fell upon me has made my blood run thin. How, then, am I not expected to go mad? I have made up my mind to rifle through the recycling bin for that buried bottle of codeine-fortified cough syrup -- hideously expired or not … something, anything. The telltale pot of coffee brews stronger and stronger! And I can’t resist pouring another cup!
Anyway, for the time being, just relax at your desk with your own Cup o’Joe and take a look at some more 45 company sleeves from around the world.
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