Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are so familiar they’ve become part of our cultural wallpaper. A raven croaking “nevermore?” An enemy bricked up in a cellar? A heart beating under the floorboards? These images are the stuff of our collective nightmares, but Poe dreamed them all up first. For better and worse, Poe’s themes and obsessions continue to crop up throughout pop culture. He showed us the dark side of the American dream, and that’s something we can’t unsee.
American Icons is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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