Encountering Poe

In a letter written on the cattle boat he and Tom Easterbrook worked to cross the Atlantic in the summer of 1932, McLuhan described his first encounter with Poe:

The little blue books [Oxford World Classics] have been doing the rounds of the cabin [of the cattle boat]. I have read only one of them — Poe’s Tales. I find them amusing, interesting curiosities, anything but exciting or absorbing. It must be remembered that he practically created the short story and the detective story at one stroke. His successors have in many instances improved on him(McLuhan to Elsie, Herbert & Maurice McLuhan, June 17-18, 1932, Letters 13-14)