Every story was told before.
So I’m reading Poe’s short stories, and in Bon-Bon the Devil makes an appearance, a guy in a black suit and green glasses who drinks wine and talks philosophy with Pierre Bon-Bon, a restaurateur. They argue, and the Devil says he talked to Aristotle himself, and so on. And then it hits me. BAM! In The Master and Margarita Bulgakov writes about Woland, also the Devil, who is also charming, and also wears a suit, and also drinks wine with the main character, the Master, and even claims to have had breakfast with Kant. Coincidence? I think not. I think Bulgakov read Poe. Now, where did Poe get his ideas? Goethe? Hoffman? I read some of both, but not much. I suppose I can dig into the literary history and keep digging and eventually reach the Bible, the most successful horror book of all.