A Companion to Poe Studies

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996 - 604 pages


Edgar Allan Poe has firmly established himself as one of the most studied 19th-century American writers, a pioneer in the theory of the short story, and a hauntingly lyrical poet whose works continue to capture the imagination of modern readers. Because of his preeminence in the world of letters, Poe has generated a tremendous amount of scholarship, and critics continue to engage in disputes over his varied writings. Through chapters written by expert contributors, this reference synthesizes the vast body of material about Poe's works and addresses topics of central importance to Poe studies.

Best known as the author of poems such as The Raven and short stories such as The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe is now firmly established as one of the most significant 19th-century American writers. Since 1845, when his work was recognized in France by Baudelaire, his critical reception has endured a history of fluctuation and controversy. During the last 50 years, research on Poe has grown so much that it now rivals or possibly exceeds the renaissance of interest in Emerson, Melville, and Henry James. His work has been adapted for popular consumption through several films; and early editions of his works, printed in small quantities, continue to command high prices.

This reference companion, the third in a series with others on Melville and Henry James, is a guide to the tremendous amount of scholarship Poe has generated. Through chapters written by expert contributors, this volume reviews and represents Poe biography, criticism, aesthetics, philosophy, and influence. The first section of the book includes chapters on Poe's life and discusses the problems confronting Poe's biographers. The second section primarily offers textual criticism of his individual works, while the third and fourth sections treat broad topics related to his philosophical views and aesthetic theory. The fifth section consists of chapters on the legacy of Poe as a world author and his lasting influence on literature, popular culture, and fine arts. Chapters include extensive documentation, and a bibliography at the end of the volume lists the most significant resources for the study of Poe.

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Contents

V
19
VI
43
VII
65
VIII
67
IX
89
X
110
XI
129
XII
149
XXII
345
XXIII
365
XXV
386
XXVI
401
XXVII
423
XXVIII
425
XXIX
446
XXX
467

XIII
168
XIV
188
XV
209
XVI
236
XVII
257
XVIII
276
XIX
296
XX
323
XXI
343
XXXI
469
XXXII
492
XXXIV
516
XXXVI
537
XXXVII
559
XXXVIII
575
XXXIX
597
Copyright

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Page 97 - But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"— here I opened wide the door ;— Darkness there and nothing more.
Page 104 - The angels, not half so happy in Heaven, Went envying her and me Yes! that was the reason (as all men know. In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night. Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
Page 106 - Dreamland By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE - out of TIME.
Page 374 - From that chamber, and from that mansion, I fled aghast. The storm was still abroad in all its wrath as I found myself crossing the old causeway. Suddenly there shot along the path a wild light, and I turned to see whence a gleam so unusual could have issued ; for the vast house and its shadows were alone behind me. The radiance was that of the full, setting, and bloodred moon...
Page 103 - For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee : And so , all the night-tide , I lie down by the side Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride, In her sepulchre there by the sea — In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Page 280 - A poem, in my opinion, is opposed to a work of science by having, for its immediate object, pleasure, not truth; to romance, by having for its object an indefinite instead of a definite pleasure, being a poem only so far as this object is attained; romance presenting perceptible images with definite, poetry with...
Page 380 - Man doth not yield him to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will.
Page 21 - There comes Poe, with his raven, like Barnaby Rudge, Three fifths of him genius and two fifths sheer fudge, Who talks like a book of iambs and pentameters, In a way to make people of common sense damn metres, Who has written some things quite the best of their But the heart somehow seems all squeezed out by the mind, Who — But hey-day!
Page 437 - And in regard to Truth — if, to be sure, through the attainment of a truth, we are led to perceive a harmony where none was apparent before, we experience, at once, the true poetical effect — but this effect is referable to the harmony alone, and not in the least degree to the truth which merely served to render the harmony manifest.

About the author (1996)

ERIC W. CARLSON is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He was a founding member and first president of the Poe Studies Association, whose newsletter he cofounded and coedited with John E. Reilly for more than a decade. He has edited several books on Poe, and his Poe essays and lectures have been widely published.

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