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Account of the life and death of edgar allan poe

His mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, was a talented actress from an English theatrical family. The young Edgar, though not legally adopted, was taken in by a wealthy Scottish tobacco exporter, John Allan, from whom Poe took his middle name.

  1. American writers in the mid-nineteenth century were often discouraged by the easy accessibility of British novels. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it".
  2. He talked brilliantly, chiefly of literature, and read his own poetry and that of others in a voice of surpassing beauty.
  3. It owes much also to his own feverish dreams, to which he applied a rare faculty of shaping plausible fabrics out of impalpable materials. Poe was an important figure in this battle to make the United States a literary force in world culture.

For most of his early life, Poe lived in Richmond with the Allans, with the exception of a five-year period between 1815 and 1820 which he spent in England, where he attended Manor House School, near London. He withdrew less than a year later, however, because of various debts, many of them from gambling; Poe did not have the money to pay, and his foster-father refused to help.

In January, 1829, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant major and was honorably discharged at his own request three months later.

Edgar Allan Poe Biography

After less than a year in school, Poe was discharged from West Point by court-martial for neglecting his military duties. Most biographers agree that Poe deliberately provoked his discharge because he had tired of West Point. After moving to Baltimore, where he lived at the home of his aunt, Mrs.

Although he did not win the prize, the newspaper published all five of his pieces. Found in a Bottle. Even with the help of a new and influential friend, John Pendleton Kennedy, a lawyer and writer, he was mostly unsuccessful. During this time, Poe published stories and poems in the Messenger, but it was with his extensive publication of criticism that he began to make his mark in American letters.

Edgar Allan Poe

Poe makes such a convincing case for the organic unity of short fiction, argues so strongly for its dependence on a unified effect, and so clearly shows how the form is more closely allied to the poem than to the novel that his ideas have influenced literary critics ever since.

In 1836, Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm, a decision which, because of her age and relationship to Poe, has made him the subject of much adverse criticism and psychological speculation. In 1837, after disagreements with the owner of the Messenger, Poe moved to New York to look for editorial work.

There he completed the writing of The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym 1838his only long fiction, a novella-length metaphysical adventure. A biographical sketch published at that time described Poe as short, slender, and well-proportioned, with a fair complexion, gray eyes, black hair, and an extremely broad forehead. Poe left the New York Mirror to join a new weekly periodical, the Broadway Journal, in February of 1845, where he continued the literary war against Longfellow begun in a review written for the Mirror.

Soon after, Poe became the sole editor and then proprietor of the Broadway Journal. In January, the Broadway Journal ceased publication, and soon after, Poe was involved in both a personal scandal with two female literary admirers and a bitter battle with the literary establishment. When Virginia died on January 30, 1847, Poe collapsed. Although he never fully recovered from this series of assaults on his already nervous condition, in the following year he published what he considered to be the capstone of his career, Eureka: A Prose Poem, which he presented as an examination of the origin of all things.

In the summer of 1849, Poe left for Richmond, Virginia, in the hope, once more, of starting a literary magazine. From that time until he was found semiconscious on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland, little is known of his activities. Summary Edgar Allan Poe is important in the history of American literature and American culture in two significant ways.

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First, he developed short fiction as a genre that was to have a major impact on American literature and publishing throughout the nineteenth century. His stories and criticism have been models and guides for writers in this characteristically American genre up to the present time. No one interested in the short-story form can afford to ignore his ideas or his fiction.

Poe was influential in making American literature more philosophical and metaphysical than it had been before.

Second, and perhaps most important, Poe helped to make periodical publishing more important in American literary culture. American writers in the mid-nineteenth century were often discouraged by the easy accessibility of British novels.

  1. He enjoyed the companionship of childhood friends and an unromantic friendship with a young poet, Susan Archer Talley.
  2. Poe had died fourteen years before the book was published. Poe seems to have been an affectionate husband and son-in-law.
  3. Needless to say, not many people believed her, seeing her claims as a way to draw attention to her work. In 1875 Poe was moved closer to the front of the churchyard and a monument was erected to honor him.
  4. The latter contains a study of a neurotic now known to have been an acquaintance of Poe, not Poe himself. It is believed that only 12 copies of the book have survived and they are now exceptionally valuable.

Lack of copyright laws made the works of the great English writers readily available at low cost. Thus, American writers could not compete in this genre.

  • Found in a Bottle;
  • Bradbury compares the screenplay with the written work and discusses both the Gothic tradition and Poe's influence on contemporary science fiction;
  • Selected Criticism Since 1829;
  • He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday.

Poe was an important figure in this battle to make the United States a literary force in world culture. The problem with Poe, however, is that he is too often thought of as the author of some vivid yet insignificant horror stories. He has been called a drunk, a drug-addict, a hack, a sex pervert, and an exploiter. As a result of these errors, myths, and oversimplifications, it is often difficult for readers to take his works seriously. The truth is, however, that Edgar Allan Poe, both in his criticism and in his dark, metaphysically mysterious stories, helped create a literature that made America a cultural force not to be ignored.

Farrar and Rinehart, 1956. The Recognition of Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Criticism Since 1829. University of Michigan Press, 1966. A valuable collection of some of the most influential critical remarks about Poe by artists, writers, and critics. Often Freudian and sometimes farfetched, the book provides stimulating reading and suggestive criticism.

Louisiana State University Press, 1969. Duke University Press, 1963. Cooper Square Publishers, 1969. The French Face of Edgar Poe. Southern Illinois University Press, 1957.