TRADING SPACES: 30 Year Old Poe House Exhibit To Be Upgraded To State Of The Tell-Tale Art

poe_e_a3.jpgKYW: Just in time of the bicentennial of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth, his Philadelphia home is getting a new look. The house is just a few blocks from downtown Philadelphia. Edgar Allan Poe lived there for about 18 months in the early 1840s. The current exhibits are 30 years old — and interpretive program specialist Mary Jenkins says it’s time for a change. Jenkins says visitors will see Poe’s influence on world literature and on popular culture. Poe penned classics including “The Telltale Heart” and “The Black Cat” while living in the Philadelphia house. It closes December 1 and reopen January 17. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: BALTIMORE — 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. Edward Pettit, a Poe scholar, argues that Poe’s remains should be moved from his grave in Baltimore, saying that it was Philadelphia that framed Poe’s outlook. “Philadelphia can keep its broken bell and its cheese steak, but Poe’s body isn’t going anywhere,” said Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe House in Baltimore. He will debate

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.”

So far, no one has taken up Mr. Pettit’s call for Philadelphia’s best grave robbers to bring home the city’s prodigal son before the bicentennial of Poe’s birth in January 2009. But the ghoulish argument between the cities over the body and legacy of the master of the macabre has continued in blogs and newspapers, and on Jan. 13 Mr. Pettit is to square off with an opponent from Baltimore to settle the matter in a debate at the Philadelphia Free Library. MORE

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