In the spirit of full disclosure, we should clarify that the true Poe fanboy is not the fictional Gomez Addams, but rather the first actor to bring the character to life, John Astin, of television fame.
His fascination with those tales fomented a ravenous (sorry) appetite for all things Poe.
As Astin told the Baltimore Sun:
His discoveries about human nature were so right, and so accurate, that it’s almost a wonder to read, or reread. There are continually discoveries, in the reading of Poe, about humankind.
Now the director of Johns Hopkins’ Undergraduate Program in Theatre Arts and Studies, Astin collaborated with writers Ron Magid and Paul Day Clemens on Edgar Allan Poe – Once Upon a Midnight, a one-man show that toured extensively throughout the late 90s and early 2000s. In addition to getting across a passel of grim biographical details, the playwrights tasked Astin’s Poe with an unabridged recitation of his best known poem, “The Raven,” above.
Philip Brandes, reviewing a performance in the Los Angeles Times wrote:
Reciting “The Raven” in its entirety, Astin cannot afford to milk each line for atmosphere à la Vincent Price; it would take him most of the second act.
Instead, he races through the poem as an author would in recalling his own familiar words, gradually getting caught up in their power and finishing on a dramatic crescendo.
Powerful stuff. Nevermore!