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The influence of edgar allan poes writing style

Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice. The Raven and a number of his Gothic and detective tales were among the most famous writings in the English language, and they were often some of the first works of literature that young adults read. Poe also continued to exercise a profound influence over writers and artists. Two of the most popular authors of the second half of the twentieth century, Stephen King and Isaac Asimov, acknowledged Poe as an important precursor.

Countless novels published at the end of the twentieth century, such as Peter Ackroyd's The Plato Papers: A Prophesy 1999 and Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves 2000also bear definite traces of his influence. The Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges, whose own works are greatly indebted to Poe, once called him the unacknowledged father of twentieth-century literature, and Poe's influence shows no signs of diminishing. Despite his enormous popularity and influence, Poe's canonical status is still challenged by certain commentators.

Harold Bloom, for instance, regards Poe's writings as vulgar and stylistically flawed. Bloom follows in a long line of Poe detractors, many of whom have been amazed by the fact that what T.

Poe criticism was, however, far more favorable and far more plentiful over the last half of the twentieth century than previously.

Poe is indeed something of a boom industry in academia. New Critics, New Historicists, psychoanalysts, and poststructuralists all find his works suggestive. Few of these critics are interested in making aesthetic judgements, however, and those who concern themselves with such things continue to express doubts about Poe's achievement.

As a result, Poe remains something of an enigma. To many he is a formative influence, a genius, and an inspiration; to others he is a shoddy stylist and a charlatan. Poe's Persona One of the reasons Poe has been far more popular and influential than writers who, according to some, have produced works of greater literary value is that he created, with a little help from others, a fascinating literary persona. That persona was of an author at once bohemian and extremely intellectual.

Poe himself was responsible for the intellectual element: Poe's persona captured the imagination of the world; like Byron before him, he became a kind of mythical or archetypal figure. As such, he seemed to be a prefiguring type of themselves. This legendary persona may be at odds with Poe's real personality and the actual facts of his biography, but that is beside the point.

What matters is that it fascinated and continues to fascinate people.

Poe's legendary personality and life have also provided people with a context in which his writings can be read and it is worth noting here that an account of Poe's life has traditionally appeared as a preface to anthologies of his works. As is the case with the Irish writer Oscar Wilde, we tend to read Poe's works as expressions of his real or mythical character and as dramatizations of his personality.

He was brought up by the Richmond tobacco the influence of edgar allan poes writing style John Allan, with whom he had a difficult relationship. The other poems are conventional romantic meditations on death, solitude, nature, dreams, and vanished youth in which Poe comes before us, as it were, in the theatrical garb of the romantic poet. The poems display Poe's considerable gift for imitation which he later used to great effect in his prose parodies and his habit of half quoting from his favorite authors.

They contain countless echoes from romantic poets especially Lord Byron. It is not, however, so much a question of plagiarism as it is of Poe serving a literary apprenticeship and placing himself within a poetic tradition. It contained revised versions of some of the poems that had been published in Tamerlane Poe was a zealous reviser and seven new poems. Sonnet—To Science, Poe's famous poem on the antagonistic relationship between science and poetry, opens the book.

It is followed by the title poem, Al Aaraaf, which has been variously interpreted as a lament for the demise of the creative imagination in a materialistic world and as an allegorical representation of Poe's aesthetic theories. The poem is characterized by its variety of meter, its heavy baroque effects, and its extreme obscurity. The volume has its lighter moments, however.

It was typical of Poe to include, within the same volume, serious poems and comic pieces that seem to parody those compositions. In 1831, wishing to leave the army, Poe got himself expelled from the West Point military academy.

In that year he also brought out a third volume of poetry, Poems by Edgar A. This collection represents a considerable advance on his earlier efforts and contains famous poems such as To Helen and The Doomed City later called The City in the Sea.

The former, which is perhaps the most beautiful of all Poe's lyrics, is a stately hymn to Helen of Troy, which in its later, revised form, contained the celebrated lines: The Doomed City is a wonderful evocation of a silent city beneath the sea.

Because of Poe's fondness for such techniques, it is hardly surprising that his poems have been compared to music. Poe believed that music was the art that most effectively excited, elevated, and intoxicated the soul and thus gave human beings access to the ethereal realm of supernal beauty, a realm in which Poe passionately believed and for which he seems to have pined throughout his life.

As Poe aimed to create similar effects with his verse, he attempted to marry poetry and music. This is why the rhythm of his verse is perfectly measured and often incantatory; it is also why he frequently chose words for their sounds rather than for their sense.

Indeed, Poe was and perhaps remains as famous a critic and theoretician of verse as he was a poet. He is particularly remembered for his powerful denunciation of didactic poetry and for his emphasis on the the influence of edgar allan poes writing style and deliberateness of the poet's art.

Most of Poe's important theoretical pronouncements the influence of edgar allan poes writing style made in the essays and lectures he wrote toward the end of his life. Here he defined poetry as a pleasurable idea set to music. Poe's early poetry received mixed reviews and failed to establish him as either a popular or a critically acclaimed author.

Later commentators, such as T. Eliot and Walt Whitman, criticized its limited range and extent; they also bemoaned its lack of intellectual and moral content. Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque Numerous connections exist between Poe's early verse and the short stories he started to write for magazines and newspapers around 1830. Poe's decision to turn his hand to prose was partly because of the lack of commercial and critical success achieved by his poetry.

In some of his stories Poe included poems; he also returned to forms, such as the dramatic monologue and the dialogue between disembodied spirits, that he had used in poems such as Tamerlane and Al Aaraaf. And yet Poe's tales are clearly distinguished from his early verse, most obviously by their variety of mood, content, and theme. Poe seems to have been liberated as a writer when he turned from romantic verse to the more flexible, capacious, and traditionally heterogeneous genre of the short story.

He now had at his disposal a multitude of tones and devices, and in the twenty-five stories that he wrote in the 1830s and that were collected in the anthology Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque 2 vols. In fact, such is the diversity of the style and mood of Poe's early stories that the division of the contents of Tales into the two categories of grotesque and arabesque seems simplistic and inadequate.

Poe's grotesques are comic and burlesque stories that usually involve exaggeration and caricature. In this group we can include the tales Lionizing and The Scythe of Time earlier called A Predicamentwhich are satires of the contemporary literary scene.

Another characteristic of Poe's grotesque stories is the introduction of elements of the ludicrous and the absurd. In the tale Loss of Breath, the protagonist literally loses his breath and goes out in search of it.

Poe, Edgar Allan

It is a shame that Poe's early grotesques are generally neglected, because not only do they testify to his range and resourcefulness as a writer, but some of them are compelling and funny. The neglect results partly from the fact that, in order to be appreciated, they require extensive knowledge of the literary and political state of antebellum America and partly because they have been overshadowed by his arabesque tales.

Poe's arabesque tales are intricately and elaborately constructed prose poems. Gothic literature, which typically aimed to produce effects of mystery and horror, was established in the latter half of the eighteenth century by writers such as the English novelist Anne Radcliffe and the German story writer E.

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Gothic short story had become one of the most popular forms of magazine literature in England and America.

It is generally agreed that Poe's particular the influence of edgar allan poes writing style to Gothic literature was his use of the genre to explore and describe the psychology of humans under extreme and abnormal conditions.

Typically, his characters are at the mercy of powers over which they have no control and which their reason cannot fully comprehend. It exhibits many of the trappings of Gothic fiction: Indeed, perhaps only Stephen King in The Shining 1977 has succeeded in investing a building with such horror and in conveying the impression that it is alive.

Apart from the grotesque and arabesque stories, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque includes other varieties of writing. Hans Phaall has been classed as science fiction, and King Pest is a surreal historical adventure. Several stories contain elements of all of these genres; Metzengerstein, for example, is at once a work of historical fiction, a powerful Gothic tale, and a witty and grotesque parody of the latter genre.

The diversity of the contents of the tales, and the variety of theme and style within individual stories, must be seen in the context of the original form in which they appeared. All of the tales were first published in popular newspapers and magazines from 1832 to 1839.

The audience for such publications was extremely heterogeneous, and Poe was clearly trying to appeal to as large a cross-section as possible. We should also remember that, unlike subscribers to weightier publications, the magazine- and newspaper-reading public had a very limited attention span.

Readers craved novelty, sensation, and diversity. Poe was profoundly influenced by the tastes of this public. The most obvious characteristic of his stories is their sensationalism: From the early 1830s Poe planned to gather together his short stories and publish them in book form.

  1. In the remainder of the essay Poe, who might be compared here to a magician who enjoys explaining away his tricks, goes on to make numerous comments of a similar nature.
  2. Poe's Influence When Poe died in Baltimore on 7 October 1849 from causes that are still the subject of debate, some commentators predicted that his works would be forgotten.
  3. Poe himself was responsible for the intellectual element.

In the mid-1830s he unsuccessfully offered for publication a collection of stories under the title Tales of the Folio Club. The tales were to be read out, over the course of a single evening, by various members of a literary club, and each story was to be followed by the critical remarks of the rest of the company. The book was evidently intended as a satire of popular contemporary modes of fiction and criticism; as such it can be compared to the work of Poe's English contemporary, Thomas Love Peacock.

When considering Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, it is important to remember the dramatic nature of its forerunner.

Our knowledge of the Folio Club gathering encourages us to read Poe's stories as the compositions of various personae and to regard Poe as author of the authors of the tales.

Auden described Poe's writing as operatic, and Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque does indeed resemble an opera in which Poe's narrators walk on and off the stage. The comparison with the playwright is appropriate because the world of Poe's writing is a thoroughly theatrical one. As the above quotations from Morella and Lionizing suggest, it is also a world in which tragedy can be quickly followed by comedy.

And here we might recall that Poe was the son of two itinerant actors. It is particularly interesting to note that Poe's beloved mother, Eliza, was renowned for her ability to play an enormous range of tragic and comic roles, often in the same theatrical season.

Her son seems to have inherited this gift as, in his writings, he effortlessly swaps a suit of sables for motley attire. At times, as in The Visionary later called The Assignationwhich contains elements of tragedy, parody, and self-parody, Poe wore both costumes at the same time. And this in turn may help us understand the appeal of Gothic literature for Poe, because it is a form of writing in which comedy intensifies the horror by setting it in relief. Those who have adapted Poe's tales for the cinema have appreciated the humorous elements of the Gothic, as their films are at once terrifying and hilarious.

Drama and theatricality are in fact everywhere in Poe's writing.

  1. Danielewski's House of Leaves 2000 , also bear definite traces of his influence.
  2. In his articles, as in his short stories, he included countless quotations and phrases from various languages; he also made a great exhibition of his learning. The invention, or at the very least the foundation, of the modern detective story is surely Poe's greatest contribution to world literature.
  3. Poe continues to inspire and enchant people today. The dialogue form, which derives from ancients such as Lucian and Plato, was very popular in Poe's time among satirical writers such as Thomas Love Peacock, Giacomo Leopardi, and William Blake.
  4. As a realistic chronicle of an utterly fantastic journey, the novel is similar to some of the stories Poe had written in the 1830s, such as MS.