Edgar A. Poe, the Master of the Macabre: The Finnish Connection

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What got Edgar Allan Poe to leave his premises and exchange them to dark in the darkest corner of Northwestern Russia?

According the surprising findings in Secaucus, N.Y, the world of literature has been sizzling. Some confusing notes were excavated from the remains of freshly demolished house built somewhere 1870′s. White gloves are frequenting at the Faculty of Literature at Borherst University, where researchers – fresh from cleaning priceless Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts – have decrypted the obscure notes, clearly written by the dark master Edgar Allan Poe himself.
The notes reveal odd correspondence and amazing trip overseas, deep into Baltic Sea and hundreds of miles inland to a township of Kuopio near the limits of Czar Alexander II’s Grand Duchy of Finland.

It seems somewhere after the Civil War, Poe became aware of an exciting female, who had exceptional sphere of influence around her, consisting of egalitarian and pre-suffragette ideas. Since especially Civil War had worn out much of the optimism all around, Poe decided to contact this mysterious figure, of whom only a half-legged Swedish sailor on a harbor tavern knew something. First, her name was ‘Mina Cant’ or something. After three pints on Poe’s purse, the name was ‘Canaan Mint’, so he decided to contact ambassadors based on the first name suggested.

PRoute

Poe’s approximate route to Northern Europe

The Russian ambassador, Grand Duke of Vugla was hard and hurry to catch but somehow Poe’s inquiry got through and the answer after two months from two blocks(two minutes with coach, 5cents)away arrived:
Indeed, there was a rabble-rousing woman living in Kuopio, Grand Duchy of Finland, somewhere behind Norway and Denmark and even behind Sweden so Poe noted that he had to pour a few more pints in the tavern to hear Swedish gibbering about the dark woodlands, formerly under the Swedish Realm. The troublesome ‘Canth woman’ with her egalitarian and rebellious thoughts was well-known at St.Petersburg by the Czar himself, but he had decided to keep the Northwestern part calm without oppressing too much; especially when Finns were known being tenacious guerrillas even before the Crusades; this mattered even more near the Eastern limits of Duchy which had been under constant skirmishes for centuries, whereas the south and southwestern parts consisted of previous Swedes and ‘petty-bourgeois illiterates knowing better the neighbors’ than their own pockets’.

Nevertheless, the Empire was happily welcoming an American gentleman who perhaps could ‘tame the Shrew’. Thus receiving tickets and visa Edgar Allan Poe embarked the ‘SS Byronia’ late 1870 starting months of journey.

minna canth

The Mighty Matriarch of Kuopio, Minna Canth

One find of the notes reveal something terrible that may have happened onboard and possibly have affected the short story of Francis Marion Crawford, ‘The Upper Berth’, other sources prefer to refer to mere seasickness, not an attempt to jump overboard midnight.
Poe’s journey advanced through British Isles, Denmark, Sweden and finally, after three more ships the abandoned former capital of Turku and newly appointed capital of Helsinki. This might enlighten the research of Poe’s later mental state, since despite the occurences onboard ‘Byronia’, he was quite refreshed when disembarking at Turku, Southwest Duchy. Then, during Helsinki his notes change dramatically, like he had suddenly lost all his lifeblood. The voyage on coach up to Eastern part is most unclear in his notes but clearly some nameless depression was upon Edgar Allan Poe at Southern coast.
After reaching Kuopio and after two weeks in the household of Minna Canth(the correct name), he reached again some livelihood.
He made notes of the ultimate friendliness and uttermost urge to feed the guest beyond belief, especially with deep brown, perhaps rye-based stuff called ‘Maemmi’; and a loaf filled with pork and fish – probably vendace or Coregonus Albula – called ‘Kalakukko’(‘Fishcock’ without actual rooster).

Poe liked the vigorous and sturdy matriarch, especially because he was not carried around like show animal to other people as, his hosts had done at Turku and Helsinki due sheer vanity.
No. Minna Canth was rather practical and poor Poe had stomach problems due constant coffeeing with coffee ‘capable of keeping a horseshoe afloat’, which might have affected the theme of ‘Masque of Red Death’. The nature was most beautiful with lakes and woodland ridges, Poe noted.
He does not mention anything about falling in love, nor does he mention any attempt to ‘tame the shrew’ as it was not his foremost motif. Vice versa, he had to witness the energetic matriarch cursing to Russian officials and sometimes throwing rocks or dropping ‘Maemmi’ upon them from the window. As he asked about the curses, his translator, a nice civil servant of Swedish origin, ‘blushed and refused to express what madame had boomed with her wide face fiery red’.
The most important details possibly affecting Poe’s works may have been also affecting such as H.P.Lovecraft, who might have gotten an idea about Poe’s mention of ‘Terror of the Peep’, from an incident at the keyhole of matriarch’s boudoir. Lovecraft may also have adapted the residents of his ‘Innsmouth’ and other towns from Poe’s mentions about the strange denizens of Grand Duchy’s South coast, ‘pompous former Swedish and odd savages in bourgeois clothes’.

E.A.Poe

Did ‘Maemmi’, ‘Fishcock’ and extensive coffee affect the Master?

Also worth mentioning is the referral upon ‘Telltale Heart’ which may have based on matriach stepping upstairs while Poe tried to concentrate on literature downstairs.
‘The Raven’ might have initiated from the note of either Canth’s mother or curious neighbor whose habit was to ‘jump around croaking but not croaking in my way of language’, Poe’s only comfort being the lack of translation. An alternative is also ‘The Premature Burial’ or ‘Cask of Amontillado’, which may have come to Poe’s mind at this point.

Edgar Allan Poe left the Grand Duchy of Finland more quietly as he arrived. There are only a few notes, except he may have taken another route southeast via St.Petersburg and embarked a freighter due London.

These notes from a demolished house at Secaucus, N.Y. are still under research but have already enlightened the ways of Poe’s head.

April 1st is commemorated for the encounter of two writers who actually could have written together a prophesy about the horrors of rising urban feminine powers.

This piece of literature blog was written for you who like to plagiarize school works from World Wide Web and you who like April 1st.

 

awsum!

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