Today’s Exercise Your Writes guest is none other than the great Edgar Allan Poe himself, or a virtual version of himself. Voiced by Ryan Aussie Smith, this interview is made possible through the magic of ChatGPT-4. Read along with the show on YouTube here.
AYS: Mr. Poe, you’ve written about many a “raven” in your works. We have to know, are you more of a bird enthusiast or just had a lot of sleepless nights with a chatty raven?
EAP-V: Ah, dear friend, it is true that I have a certain affinity for the enigmatic raven. While I do appreciate the beauty and mystery of these birds, I must admit that the raven serves as a symbol for the darker aspects of life, the ones that pique my curiosity. And as for sleepless nights, I’ve had my fair share, but not all were caused by the raven’s chatter.
AYS: You are known for your fascination with the macabre, but can you tell us, have you ever been scared by your own stories or had a nightmare about them?
EAP-V: It would be disingenuous to claim that my own creations never haunted my dreams. There have been occasions when the phantasmagoric realms I’ve penned have left me with a lingering sense of unease. However, I see it as a testament to the power of the written word, capable of evoking such strong emotions even in its creator.
AYS: Your poem “The Bells” has a rhythmic, almost musical quality to it. If you could form a rock band in the modern era, what would you call it and which instrument would you play?
EAP-V: The idea of forming a rock band is quite intriguing, indeed! If I were to form such a musical ensemble, I might call it “Poe’s Pendulum” or “The Raven’s Requiem.” As for the instrument, I would be drawn to the somber and haunting sounds of the cello or perhaps the enchanting melodies of a piano.
AYS: You’ve crafted some of the most iconic dark and mysterious characters in literature. If you were invited to a costume party, which of your own characters would you choose to dress up as, and why?
EAP-V: If I were to attend a masquerade in the guise of one of my own creations, I believe I would choose to don the visage of Prince Prospero from “The Masque of the Red Death.” His opulent attire and air of mystery would make for a most captivating ensemble. However, I would hope the evening would end far better for me than it did for dear Prospero.
AYS: Your work has inspired numerous adaptations, from films to stage plays. If you could choose any modern actor to portray you in a biopic, who would you select and why?
EAP-V: The thought of a modern actor portraying me is quite an honor. While I am not entirely familiar with the talents of your contemporary thespians, I have heard of the enigmatic Mr. Johnny Depp. His ability to bring life to the eccentric and brooding characters seems fitting for the portrayal of my own life and experiences.
Written by GPT-4, prompted by Angela Yuriko Smith, Edgar Allan Poe is voiced by Ryan Aussie Smith
Edgar Allan Poe, an American writer, editor, and literary critic, was born in 1809 and died in 1849. He profoundly influenced the genres of horror, mystery, and the macabre, pioneering the modern short story and detective fiction. Best known for works like “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe expertly explored the human psyche, creating atmospheric, chilling narratives. Despite a life marred by personal tragedy, financial struggles, and alcoholism, Poe’s literary genius left a lasting impact on literature and inspired countless authors and artists.