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The World according to Lothar part II
by Mark on 1/28/2004 (0)

From Zurich, with love.
Would modern day anti-depressant therapy have ruined Dark Literature Titan Edgar Allen Poe? Lothar ponders the question.

Hello, my dear friends. My name is Lothar Von Rasmussen. I am a free thinking Neo-Kantist, BMW motorcycle racing enthusiast, Dominican cigar affeciando, connoisseur of Swedish women and French brandy, bidding salutations from Zurich, Switzerland, the cradle of refined taste and invention.

Happy New Year to my friends and fans in the States.

Today, I pose an unhappy happy question: Would man of morose letters, Edgar Allen Poe, have lost his vital edge if he was prescribed Prozac for his substance abuse problem and gruesome world outlook?

Take yourself back to 1820, a time of melancholy and despair, a time devoid of modern science, when man lived in fear of God, his world, and himself

Into such a world was born Poe. Both of Poe's parents died when he was 3, a common occurrence in the early 19th century. An alcoholic, and abuser of Laudanum, (a tincture of opium and alcohol), Poe's thus fortified imagination gave birth to perhaps Literature's darkest classics, such as The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart,The Cask of Amantillado, and The Pit and the Pendulum.

A happy Poe?
What if Poe lived today, and was given Prozac for his gloomy disposition?

A passage from "The Raven" that read:

"And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door... And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted - nevermore!"

may have read instead:

"And the pesky raven, skittering cross the floor, Off my bust of Pallas, and out my happy door! ...And my soul, basked in sunny sunlight shall be lifted, furthermore, I'll marry the angel called Lenore - forevermore!"

Hmmmmm...does not tinge the soul as once before.

And what if the opening passage from "Tell Tale Heart":

"TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. might have."


"TRUE! nervous, very very dreadfully nervous, reach for Prozac fast. The pill has sharpened my senses, lifted my dreary soul, and rendered me hopelessly. Glad."

Indeed...the result is painfully clear. So what is the the lesson to be learned here?

Perhaps the black force in all of us is an essential driving creative entity that should not be tampered with or put to sleep. It is in our nature. True, Poe suffered, but what of a world without the Dark Poe? A Happy Poe would have died without notice.

And what of today's writers of horror, like Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Dean Koontz and Guy Burt? Would it be ethical to strip them of their gloomy inspiration? What would a suffocatingly gleefull and optimistic world have to offer us?

Again, my loyal readers, I pose an eternal question: Do you wish to live in a constant state of blissfull, chemical induced uninterrupted joy, or can you learn to master the darkness within and harness it? It would seem to be certain that our greate

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