Discovered this book at Saurav's. And the memories came rushing in.
I first heard Poe (and also heard "of" Poe) in class 7, when Noel Pinto (Podgy) bellowed and thumped and mesmerized us all, to win the English Elocution Contest of 1996. And Tell-Tale-Heart became my first Poe experience. At that point of time, I was merely interested in the recitation opportunities of his works. I guess, I wanted to emulate Noel, and couldn't think of a better source, to start looking for prose that would catapult me into the world of hot, desirable, high school elocution heroes! Ummm ok, so that was a little exaggerated, but you get the drift.
After about a year, by when my wild fantasies of hitting the popularity charts by way of Poe's works had all but dissipated, I got reacquainted with his writing. Some folks had set up a small book exhibition in the school library, and I gave them the money I had diligently saved up for the last coupla months to buy something nice and impressive for the girl I had a crush on, in exchange of a collection of Poe's writings. Though, I must admit, that there were a lot of mixed feelings, when I was parting with my hard earned money!
And my interest in him, has not waned since. There is something in his writing that I can't quite explain. But everytime I get back to it, there's something new in there for me to discover. Whether be it Dupin's ratiocination, or the guilty beating of the tale telling heart, Poe's stories always had me reading breathlessly, transported into the world he weaved for his readers. Immeresed in the feelings that he wants us to feel. There has never been a dull moment while reading his works.
So, as I start reading a work of fiction, based on the events leading up to, and causing his untimely death, I couldn't help but remember one of the heroes of my childhood. It is amusing, how some lost memories, insignificant thoughts, come rushing in without any notice and give you a moment of unadulterated joy!