Poe makes a unique observation on the often hazy line between life and art in his shortest short story, "The Oval Portrait."

A reversal of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, "The Oval Portrait" finds our narrator telling us about an entrancing painting of a beautiful woman he finds in an abandoned mansion (a gloomy structure which he notes the queen of Gothic Ann Radcliffe would approve of). He finds a book that details the house's artwork, which describes how the artist of the painting neglected his wife, being so entrenched in his work. Unaware of the pain he put on his young wife, he literally draws the life out of her for his painting, finishing his masterpiece to find her dead, her liveliness having been imparted on the painting itself.

Poe's tale seems to critique not only the danger of over-emphasizing the importance of art but also the world's over-focus on work, in general. So, workaholics, take note, and quit neglecting your lady in favor of your 9-to-5! (For further commentary on this subject, see Kanye's touching song on the matter.)