Thursday, November 3, 2011

Poe At Fordham

The awesome church historian Pat McNamara cranks out great features on lesser-known episodes of Catholic history at a terrifying clip, and for All Hallows Eve found a link between Catholicism and the poet of spookiness, Edgar Allan Poe -- a man marked by genuine tragedy, not just a spinner of Gothic tales as some would have it. 
Pat details Poe's later years in the Bronx, where he wandered, grief-stricken after the death of his wife, across the campus of what would become Fordham University:
An early Fordham Jesuit remembered Poe as a "familiar figure at the college . . . It seemed to soothe his mind to wander at will about the lawn and the beautiful grounds back of the college buildings." Another wrote: "It was one of Poe's greatest gifts that he could make friends wherever he went. To know him was to love him... It was a pleasure to see him and still more to listen to him." More than scenery, however, a recent biographer notes that Poe "found intellectual and spiritual companionship" with the Jesuits at the college. In this sparsely populated community, there weren't many people with whom Poe could discuss literature. The Jesuits, who sympathized with this starving artist, invited him to dinner many an evening, and gave him the use of their library.
Link (here)

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