Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a magazine editor, a poet, a short story writer, a critic, and a lecturer.
Biography and Career :
Edgar Allan Poe introduced the British horror story, or the Gothic genre, to American literature, along with the detective story, science fiction, and literary criticism. Poe became a key figure in the nineteenth-century in American literature
Although he long had a reputation in Europe as one of America's most original writers, only in the latter half of the -twentieth century has Poe been viewed as a crucial contributor to the American Renaissance.
The often tragic circumstances of Poe's life
haunt his writings: his father disappearance not long after the child's birth, his mother death of tuberculosis, his living with John and Frances Allan,( wealthy theatergoers who knew his parents, both actors, from the Richmond, Virginia, stage) and Frances Allan's sickness and death. There are echoes of Poe's upbringing in his works, as sick mothers and guilty fathers appear in many of his tales.
Edgar Allan Poe attended school in England and then enrolled at the University of Virginia in 1826. After leaving the University of Virginia, Poe spent some time in the military, then entered the magazine industry.
With little experience, Poe succeeded in convincing Thomas Willis White, then head of the Southern Literary Messenger, to take him on as an editor in 1835. This position gave him a forum for his early tales, including "Berenice" and "Morella." The Messenger also established Poe as a leading and controversial literary critic, who often attacked his New England counterparts in the genteel pages of the magazine. But Poe never realized his most ambitious dreamÃ¢â‚¬'the launch of his own magazine, the Stylus.
His name has since become synonymous with macabre tales like "The Tell-Tale Heart," but Poe assumed a variety of literary personas during his career. He advanced his theories in popular essays, including "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846), "The Rationale of Verse" (1848), and "The Poetic Principle." In "The Philosophy of Composition" Poe explained how he had crafted "The Raven," the 1845 poem that made him nationally famous. Poe also introduced of a new form of short fictionÃ¢â‚¬'the detective storyÃ¢â‚¬'in tales featuring the Parisian
crime solver C. Auguste Dupin. The word "detective" did not exist in English at the time that Poe was writing, but the genre has become a fundamental mode of twentieth-century literature and film. Dupin and his techniques of psychological inquiry have inspired the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe.
Gothic literature explores the dark side of human experienceÃ¢â‚¬'death, alienation, nightmares, ghosts and haunted landscapes. American Gothic literature dramatizes the culture through characters afflicted with various forms of insanity and melancholy and relies on haunting and mysterious narratives that blur the boundary between the real and the fantastic.
Poe's style and concerns never found their best _expression in longer forms, but his short stories are considered masterpieces worldwide. Poe's Gothic is best served in small doses.
- "Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it 'the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.' The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of 'Artist'."
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