Howard Phillips Lovecraft (/ˈlʌvkræft, -ˌkrɑːft/; August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) — known as H.P. Lovecraft — was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. Virtually unknown and only published in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century authors in his genre.
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe (/poʊ/; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
A university student is forced, by his lack of funds, to take the only lodging he can afford. In a strange part of the city he had never seen before, on a street named "Rue d'Auseil", he finds an apartment in an almost empty building. One of the few other tenants is an old German man named Erich Zann. The old man is mute and plays the viol with a local orchestra. He lives on the top floor and when alone at night, plays strange melodies never heard before. Over time, the student gains Zann's trust, and eventually learns of his secret, that the old man has discovered melodies and rhythms of sound of an almost otherworldly nature. Zann plays these sounds to keep back unknown and unseen creatures from Zann's window, which is said to look out into a black abyss, most likely another dimension.
"The Cask of Amontillado" has been almost universally referred to as Poe's most perfect short story; in fact, it has often been considered to be one of the world's most perfect short stories. Furthermore, it conforms to and illustrates perfectly many of Poe's literary theories about the nature of the short story: that is, it is short and can be read at one sitting, it is a mood piece with every sentence contributing to the total effect, it is a completely unified work and while it is seemingly simple, it abounds in ironies of many kinds. Finally, every line and comment contributes to the totality or unity of effect that Poe sought to achieve.