Download The Cambridge Introduction to Edgar Allan Poe (Cambridge by Benjamin F. Fisher PDF

By Benjamin F. Fisher

A lot is still doubtful in regards to the lifetime of Edgar Allan Poe, the mysterious writer of 1 of the best-known American poems, 'The Raven', the Gothic romance the autumn of the home of Usher, and the 1st detective fiction, The Murders within the Rue Morgue. This ebook offers a balanced evaluation of Poe's profession and writings, resisting the tendency of many students to sensationalise the extra enigmatic elements of his existence. Benjamin F. Fisher outlines Poe's experiments with a variety of literary types and genres, and exhibits how his fiction advanced from Gothic fable to believable, subtle mental fiction. Fisher makes new and fruitful connections inside of this different physique of labor, and provides analyses of the key works. The severe afterlife of Poe's paintings is charted, and the ebook contains a consultant to extra studying, making this a convenient starting-point for college kids and readers new to Poe.

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Extra info for The Cambridge Introduction to Edgar Allan Poe (Cambridge Introductions to Literature)

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Poe’s alertness to medical subjects is responsible for the galvanic battery shocks in several tales, and of course he knew firsthand the symptoms of tuberculosis and of paralytic stroke. Ramifications of medical science are evident in the live burial motifs that some readers think are so dear to Poe, not knowing that fear of live burial was not a product of literary Gothicism. The sensational aspects of premature burial caused very real uneasiness in actual life, because when embalming was not mandatory one could, for example, enter a death-like trance and actually be interred as if dead.

In that respect he rose far above the average writer of Gothic fiction, because the latter wanted to titillate readers with lurid details while Poe comprehended the greater realities in such terrifying occurrences, and that they had rich symbolic value. Accounts of medical science and scientific explorations were eagerly read, and not just in America, during Poe’s lifetime. The technological components of the expeditions also aroused curiosity, though Poe was not always accurate in presenting such material.

This dark circle may be so physically restrictive (though the restrictiveness may be only imagined by the speaker) as to send the speaker’s emotions spinning into fantasy. He, and we readers, have no inkling, as the poem concludes, of an exact cause for his fascination with death. He, and we readers, cannot foretell the future. The speaker is left in a meaningless void, thus positioning him as head of a long line of protagonists in American literary works. Poe later intensified what we might term the moral of this story.

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