Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The YouTube of the Perverse

Yes, my friends, time for another video link dump. Why even bother writing weird, prolix essays that are read only by students hoping to find material to steal for their English literature homework? (Now, go and plagiarize from Wikipedia like you're supposed to, you little rats!)

Our Edgar, from what I can tell, has a bigger YouTube presence than Justin Bieber. Below are a few of my favorite examples:

Kristen Lawrence's exquisite musical interpretation of "The Raven." Beautifully ethereal singing, and I love the pipe organ.

Vincent Price. Edgar Allan Poe. Need I say more? Didn't think so.

The one and only John Astin reads "Eldorado." John Cusack, eat your heart out.

"The Raven" translated into Latin. Well, why not? (Similar video translations of the poem are available in Finnish, Swedish, Dutch, German, and Italian, if you are inclined to drive yourself completely barking mad.)

Rachmaninov's choral symphony, "The Bells." The Russians have an interesting history with Poe, whose writings have long been very popular in that country. (Totally irrelevant but fascinating fact: "Eureka" was forbidden in Russia in 1871, a ban which was not completely lifted until 1996. The country's rulers evidently recognized Poe's power, and feared it.)

Ladies and gentlemen, here's Mr. Lou Reed. "These are the stories of Edgar Allan Poe/Not exactly the boy next door..."

Claude Debussy composed an opera based on "The Fall of the House of Usher." Unfinished, but a wonderful work.

Not to be outdone, Philip Glass also wrote an operatic "Usher." A little of Glass goes a long way with me, (he always reminds me of Horace Rumpole's verdict on Wagner's music--"it's not nearly as bad as it sounds") but I think this works.

And what video roundup would be complete without Poe and, uh, Snoopy. Bet you didn't know he wrote "My Darling Clementine."

That's all until next week, when I return with...a weird, prolix essay.