Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre.
The Edgar Allan Poe Awards are named after the author and are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America.
Alfred Hitchcock and Poe
At sixteen I discovered the work of Edgar Allan Poe. I happened to read first his biography, and the sadness of his life made a great impression on me. I felt an enormous pity for him, because in spite of his talent he had never been happy.... When I came home from the office where I worked I went straight to my room, took the cheap edition of his Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, and began to read. I still remember my feelings when I finished "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." I was afraid, but this fear made me discover something I've never forgotten since: fear, you see, is an emotion people like to feel when they know they're safe....
— Hitchcock quoted in The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock (1983) by Donald Spoto
It's because I liked Edgar Allen Poe's stories so much that I began to make suspense films. Without wanting to seem immodest, I can't help but compare what I try to put into my films with what Poe put in his stories; a perfectly unbelievable story recounted to readers with such a hallucinatory logic that one has the impression that this same story can happen to you tomorrow.
— Hitchcock quoted in The Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe (2007) by Scott Peeples
Scholar Edgar Allan Poe has explored the links between Hitchcock and Poe in Hitchcock and Poe: The Legacy of Delight and Terror (2003) and in several journal articles.
In 1945, Hitchcock recorded a proposed radio series titled Once Upon a Midnight, taken from the opening line of Poe's The Raven.
Hitchcock Fiction Anthologies
- "The Purloined Letter" in The Pocket Book of Great Detectives (1941)
- "The Masque of the Red Death" in Alfred Hitchcock's Tales of the Supernatural and the Fantastic (September 1993)