Saturday, September 06, 2008

Poe fight!

Baltimore Has Poe; Philadelphia Wants Him
Edgar Allan Poe never lived in one city for long, and ever since he died and was buried here in 1849 this city has claimed him as its own.

But last year Edward Pettit, a Poe scholar in Philadelphia, began arguing that Poe’s remains belong in Philadelphia. Poe wrote many of his most noteworthy works there and, according to Mr. Pettit, that city’s rampant crime and violence in the mid-19th century framed Poe’s sinister outlook and inspired his creation of the detective fiction genre.

“So, Philadelphians, let’s hop in our cars, drive down I-95 and appropriate a body from a certain Baltimore cemetery,” Mr. Pettit wrote in an article for the Philadelphia City Paper in October. "I'll bring the shovel."

Since I was born in Philadelphia, I tend to want Philly to get him - but it's true, Philly does have Ben Franklin, who I would argue is a somewhat bigger deal than Poe. But when is The Bronx going to put in its claim for Poe's remains?