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With his level of literary productivity in mind, and the dark subject matter that captivated him, it’s little wonder Poe looks so tired. An ambitious editor, shrewd critic, poet, essayist, and the United States’ first master of the short story, Poe is remembered as a forefather of American literature (as well as an argumentative and unreliable alcoholic). In literary criticism, his contributions remain excitingly controversial. Outside the academy, Poe has been the subject of myriad tributes and parodies. The Simpsons have lampooned “The Raven,” and Poe’s macabre presence can be felt in other shows like CSI and Dexter. And on 9 March 2012, the film The Raven hits theatres, directed by James McTeigue (The Matrix Trilogy, V for Vendetta, and Ninja Assassin) and staring John Cusack as a fictional version of Poe forced to solve a series of gruesome murders fashioned after his tales.

Moreover, Francis Ford Coppola, legendary director of the Godfather trilogy and founder of the American literary journal Zoetrope: All-Story, includes Poe as a character in his latest film Twixt (2011), which he promises is heavy with the imagery of Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter).

Below is a picture of Val Kilmer with Ben Chaplin as Poe in Coppola’s Twixt.