Edward Pettit argues that Poe wrote much of his best work in Philadelphia and "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.”
Not so fast, mister. We've got the Poe Toaster, a mysterious figure who visits the author's grave every year on his birthday and leaves three red roses and a half-bottle of cognac. We even named our football team in honor of his most famous work, "The Raven." Poe is ours--or rather, we are his.
“Philadelphia can keep its broken bell and its cheese steak, but Poe’s body isn’t going anywhere,” said Jeff Jerome, the curator of the Poe House in Baltimore. He'll be debating Pettit on January 13 at the Philadelphia Free Library.
Mr. Jerome added that everything would be settled at the debate, and in exactly the way that Poe would have wanted.
“I will argue the other guy down with grace and facts,” Mr. Jerome said. “Then I will walk over to him like a gentleman and punch him square in the nose.”
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