Legacy, we all wish to be remembered, we all wish to leave something behind that the world will remember us by. For years I feared sharing Bram Stoker’s fate, being a literary unknown in life, yet becoming legendary and typecast in death. Stoker’s creation Count Dracula, outlived and outgrew him, to the point that Dracula himself has his own mythology and has spawned countless productions, movies, books etc about vampires. There are people who chose to live in the manner of the legendary Count.
As a writer this is something that I both ascribe to and fear. I ascribe to it, since I would love for my writing to live on for over a century after my death, and for me to be considered as a literary great. The fear aspect of it, comes from the notion that I will never be known as a writer in life, or will never be truly published.
As a child I read and studied luminaries such as Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare. The symbolism, prose and descriptions used by them, would oft inspire my imagination beyond my control. To this day, The Portrait of Dorian Gray and Julius Caesar still rank amongst my favourite ever pieces of literature. The other great inspiration for me in terms of writing, has been Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.
The Raven was the first piece of poetry that truly spoke to me, and that ironically, I found equilibrium in. It became for me, the very definition of the descent into madness, and The Raven itself, was something that I felt a kingship with.
Poe’s depiction of The Raven, caused me to research into the mythology of the bird, and I soon ended up identifying with both the bird and the mythology far deeper than I ever expected. The identifying with The Raven, led me to adopt and develop The Raven persona that has become my pen name today.
Much like Poe’s The Raven, my persona and myself have become deeply intertwined to the point where one cannot be separated from the other. To tap into my creativity, I have to tap into the dark, depressive thoughts that lies beneath. Ironically, it becomes a viscous circle, by tapping into the darkness, it feeds my creativity, however, feeding my creativity also feeds my depression, so it becomes a never ending cycle.
It is with these thoughts in mind that I have set myself a separate challenge, two of them in fact. I hope to be able to write something in a similar vein to Poe’s The Raven, and to Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray. Don’t get me wrong, I do not intend to copy either piece of literature, or write a modern version, but rather I hope to be able to do similar to what the writers did in their day. Wilde was able to make quite the startling social commentary with his novel, and Poe was able to depict a degrading mental state. I am hoping to take that and hopefully write something as meaningful as they did. The challenge awaits and honestly, I could not be more excited about it.
Until next time,