Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at 65 James Street is happy to shine our spotlight on Paul J. Macek, who will be in the store tomorrow, Saturday, January 10th to help us wish an early “Happy Birthday” to Edgar Allan Poe with his newest release, The Illustrated History of Edgar Allan Poe.
Paul J. Macek teaches history and English at St. Peter-Marian High School in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has worked as a copyeditor and proofreader for publishing and typographic houses. In 2000, he published Early History of Webster, Dudley, and Oxford, a book representing the first recorded history of Webster and Dudley. In 2009, he published Webster, Dudley, and Oxford During the Nineteenth Century.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?
In the structure of The Illustrated History of Edgar Allan Poe, with illustrations and explanations and marginal notes, one can read the book at several different levels. One level of reading falls within the graphic itself with the figure caption explaining the source of the illustration. The text below the figure caption offers another level of reading with an exposition on the story, poem, or particular topic. The last level of reading, certainly the most important, lies in the reading of the marginal notes, which provides for a rich analysis of the content.
What can readers expect from the spotlighted release?
Edgar Allan Poe dreamt dreams that no mortal ever dared to dream before. In this book, readers will be challenged to dream what no readers have ever dreamed before.
Edgar Allan Poe dreamt dreams that no mortal ever dared to dream before. In this book readers will be challenged to dream what no readers have ever dreamed before.Edgar Allan Poe dreamt dreams that no mortal ever dared to dream before. In this book readers will be challenged to dream what no readers have ever dreamed before.Edgar Allan Poe dreamt dreams that no mortal ever dared to dream before. In this book readers will be challenged to dream what no readers have ever dreamed before.Illustrated History of Edgar Allan Poe contains 82 illustrations from notable artists such as Gustave Doré, Harry Clarke, Byam Shaw, Édouard Manet, and Aubrey Beardley. The book also contains 204 marginal notes—many of them are Poe’s epigrams, representing the best thoughts from Poe’s literature. This book also enables the reader to discover the following ideas on Edgar Allan Poe: his philosophy in Eureka (including the Big Bang Theory); his principles on the art of writing; his invention of science fiction, detective fiction, and psychological horror stories; his ideas on the meaning and function of poetry; and his ideas on religion, literary criticism, and the media.
There were several different levels of research which went into the writing of the book. The first level of research involved reading about a dozen biographies on the life of Poe and about a dozen other books on literary criticism of Poe. The second level of research involved mapping out a timeline of his life and most famous works. The next level of research was finding the most appropriate graphics which have been done on Poe’s life or works as they relate to his timeline. The last level of research involved reading the original works themselves and linking the most important thoughts of Poe from the poem, short story, novel, or essay with the graphics.
What was the inspiration for The Illustrated History of Edgar Allan Poe?
Today, over two hundred years after his birth, Poe still symbolizes the dark folk hero for better or for worse. Tributes to Poe can be found everywhere from the album jacket of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967) to the name of a professional football team such as the Baltimore Ravens. So much adoration, hostility, bad faith, and controversy surround the life of Edgar Allan Poe. Recently, on October 5, 2014, the city of Boston paid homage to Poe and his birthplace by erecting a bronze statue at the Edgar Allan Poe Place. Nevertheless, Poe as a writer explores the deep mysteries of creation; he conceived of literature as exploration. And more than anything else, Poe reveals the true task of the writer which is to show the hidden side of reality.
Where can people find your work?
The book can be bought at the following locations: Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, Booklover’s Gourmet in Webster, Bartevian’s in Boston, Harvard Book Store in Cambridge; and New England Mobile Book Store in Newton Highlands.
How can we follow your work?
Thank you so much for the interview, Paul, and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday when you visit our store on 65 James Street with The Illustrated History of Edgar Allan Poe.