Date of publication: 2017-08-16 09:55
While Poe is best remembered today for his tales of psychological terror, he was acclaimed in his own day for his satires, mysteries, science fiction, literary criticism, and lyric poetry. Europeans regarded him as America’s first internationally influential author, and no less a figure than England’s Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson deemed him “America’s most original creative genius.” Today there is no writer of horror, science fiction, or mysteries who does not bear the mark of his influence.
After returning to Richmond to find his fiancée engaged to another man, Poe ran away to Boston to begin his literary career by publishing his first book Tamerlane at the age of 68. The publisher only printed fifty copies and did not distribute them, so Poe found a day job as a clerk. He soon enlisted in the . Army and rose so quickly through the ranks that he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point three years later with aspirations of becoming an officer. By the time he was inevitably expelled from West Point, he had published two more books of poetry. The cadets at West Point hated his last book so much they threw many of their copies into the Hudson River.
Definition: The sequence of events that make up a literary work the structure of the story
Context: The plot of The Tell-Tale Heart ends with the narrator confessing his crime.
In writing the story, Poe used real locations, including the boarding school he attended as a boy in England. Just as in the tale, the real school was administered by a Reverend Bransby. When asked how he felt about his unflattering portrayal in his former student’s story, the real Bransby shunned the subject and told William Elijah Hunter that Poe “would have been a very good boy if he had not been spoilt by his parents.”
Helen Whitman, who had long been devouring every published line of Poe with what she called 'horrified fascination and avidity', sent the author a poem of homage, an adaptation of his own 'The Raven'. He sent her a poem back (one he had originally written to someone else) and in September he went to Providence to meet her.
Regrettably, the focus on Poe as counter-culture hero, cautionary example of the dangers of substance abuse, and grandfather of Goth may have obscured the reality of this immensely talented and versatile author. This was true even during his lifetime when the controversial editor and critic appeared as a character in other authors’ novels, poems, and short stories, blurring the line between Poe’s legend and his real life. Poe actively promoted his own legend by spreading rumors that he had fought in the Greek War of Independence and was held prisoner in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Poe’s reputation has kept him in the public eye, but it has also obscured the true significance.
Definition: A style of literature style emphasizing the grotesque, mysterious, and desolate.
Context: Edgar Allan Poe is considered an author of Gothic literature.
It is not hard to see the connection between the nightmare of Poe x5577 s life and his work. His fictional work resembles the dreams of a troubled individual who keeps coming back, night after night, to the same pattern of dream. At times he traces out the pattern lightly, at other times in a x5577 thoughtful x5577 mood, but often the tone is terror. He finds himself descending, into a cellar, a wine vault, or a whirlpool, always falling. The women he meets either change form into someone else or are whisked away completely. And at last he drops off, into a pit or a river or a walled-up tomb.