August 1, 2011

The Tell-Tale Signs of a Spooky Scribe: Similarities Between Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King

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Two masters of the macabre: one remembered as a literary revolutionary, the other a self-proclaimed "salami" writer. But what else do these two authors have in common besides a penchant for producing spine-tingling, scare-your-pants-off prose?

Born in New England

Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts.
King was born on September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine.

Phantom Fathers

Poe's father abandoned the family early on and died when Poe was 3 years old.
King's father abandoned the family when King was 2 years old under the guise of going out for a pack of ciggarettes.

The Scots-Irish Connection

Poe and King both have Scots-Irish (also: Scotch-Irish) ancestry. The Scots-Irish were Scottish Presbyterians who were relocated to the Plantation of Ulster in Northern Ireland in the 17th century.


Poe and King both hit the booze pretty hard during their lives. Poe wasn't necessarily a habitual drinker, but his low-tolerance to the devil's sauce made him susceptible to drunken escapades, which often involved gambling. During the 1980s, King often road the cocaine-train to crazy town and drank to the point that he doesn't remember what the hell he wrote during the 1980s.

The Pet Connection

One of King's most popular works, "Pet Sematary," is about a cemetery that can bring pets -- and people -- back to life. It is likely that Poe died from rabies, which he contracted from one of his pet cats.

On Matters of Life and Death...

Poe: "The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"
King: "Each life makes its own imitation of immortality."


1 comment:

  1. Please post a comment if you know of any other similarities between Poe and King. Thanks!