Edger Alan Poe
Edgar Alan Poe was an American writer, known as a poet and most famous as the first master of the short story, especially tales of the mysterious and macabre. The literary merits of Poe’s writings have been debated since his death, but his works have remained popular and many major American and European writers have professed their artistic debt to him. Born in Boston Massachusetts, Poe was orphaned in his early child hood. Raised by John Adam, A successful businessman of Richmond, Virginia. Taken by the Allan Family to England, at the age of six, Poe was placed in a private school upon returning to the US in 1820, he continued to study in private school. He attended the university of Virginia for a year but in 1827 his foster father displeased by the young man?s drinking and gambling he refused to pay his debts and forced him to work as a clerk. Poe, disliking his new duties intensely, quit the job, and went to Boston. Published his first book in 1827, ?Tamerland and Other Poems,? in 1827, the book was published anonymously. Shortly afterward Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army and served a two-year term. In 1829 his second volume of verse, Al Aaraaf, was published, and he effected reconciliation with Allan, who secured him an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. After only a few months at the academy Poe was dismissed for neglect of duty, and his foster father disowned him permanently. Poe’s third book, Poems, appeared in 1831, and the following year he moved to Baltimore, where he lived with his aunt and her 11year old daughter, Virginia Clemm. The following year his tale “A MS. Found in a Bottle” won a contest sponsored by the Baltimore Saturday Visitor. From 1835 to 1837 Poe was an editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. In 1836 he married his young cousin. Throughout the next decade, much of which was marred by his wife’s long illness, Poe worked as an editor for various periodicals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in New York City. In 1847 Virginia died and Poe himself became ill; his disastrous addiction to liquor and his alleged use of drugs, may have contributed to his early death.
The story a Tell-Tale Heart, by Edger Allan Poe is about a crazy man who has an obsession on another person?s eye. The man is crazy, but thinks that his sickness has sharpened his senses. He claims he can hear everything from heaven and earth and also many things in Hell. With all these self proclaim heightened senses the man wonders why is he considered mad. The crazy man lived with an elderly man. They were somewhat roommates. A specific characteristic of the elderly man drove the man he lived with crazy. It wasn’t bad habits or anything that you would think that would bring bickering between roommate. It was something that even the elderly man had no idea of. It was the elderly man’s eye. His eye was kind of deformed, but to the roommate it was the sign of evil. He has been disgusted of the eye for the longest of time, but has never done anything that will harm the man.
After time, the disturbed man plotted against his elderly roommate. During the week that action was going to take place the roommate was being extremely kind to the elderly man. His objective was to get rid the evil eye from his life. In a swift instent, in the bedroom of the old man, the disturbed roommate killed the man and rid himself of his “evil eye”.
His covering up of the incident was, in his opinion, true generous. The body was dismembered by every part and there was no mess. In the killers mind he wondered how a person who devised such a plan and cover up his tracks so well could be branded crazy. The next afternoon police came to the house. A shriek was heard and foul play was a suspicion. As before the man covered his tracks with virtually no flaw. No evidence of a violent disturbance was seen and an excuse for the absence of the elderly man was made. The man was very confident that his innocence would not be questioned in their mind. In the beginning of the story the man talked of how his sickness sharpened his senses. This might have proven to be right because while the investigation was going all right the man heard the beating of the elderly man heart under the floor and it drove him mad. The confession came out.
Edgar Alan Poe has cast a long shadow. He has probably had a greater influence than any other American writer. Although Poe’s tales and poems range from masterful to ludicrous, Poe exerted his most significant influence as a man who understood the temper of his times, and foreshadowed so much of the future of literature. His wide-ranging tales and his broad criticism sought a method for American literature where none had prevailed. Poe deliberately sought great variety in his tales. A review of his more than seventy pieces of fiction testifies not merely to his range, but also to the significant popular genres he created or made his own which today form the staples of American fiction.
Poe’s greatest influence comes about in the murder mystery. Although murders in fiction existed before Poe, his preoccupation with the ingenious solution of the crime established in his tales of ratiocination (the process of exact thinking) changed the emphasis from the acts to getting the facts. Poe’s cerebral and eccentric detective Dupin (”the ingenious are always fanciful and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic”)
Because of the power of Poe’s narrative voice, many a tale is indelible. Poe’s imaginative sociology in “The Man of the Crowd” will tell you more about loneliness in the crowd than David Riesman did. The psychological analysis in “William Wilson” is an excellent and frightening exploration of split personality two generations before Freud.
One would think that Poe would be best remembered for his powerful tales, but much of his international reputation rests on his critical acumen that pointed in equally new directions. Poe was among the first to discern the tendency of the age toward “the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused” In a famous critical piece, Poe recognized Hawthorne as one of our “few men of indisputable genius;” he went on to formulate his famous conception of the short story, which must be designed for “a single effect” and every word of which must be made to count.
Poe’s method leads to the symbolist poetry of Mallarme and to Rimbaud and the dream inspired surrealists Poe’s brooding heroes and symbolic houses lead to the decadent heroes, new Roderick Ushers with their concern for the artificial detail of their shut-in paradise, reflected earlier in such Poe tales as “The Mask of the Red Death” and “The Philosophy of Furniture”.
Poe is returned to America through French symbolism, and so made digestible to such important American poets as T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens. In opposition to the romantic stress on the expression of personality, Poe insisted on the importance not of the artist, but of the created work of art. He stands as one of the few great innovators in American literature that took his place in international culture as an original creative force.
I disagree with the author that wrote that criticism. One thing is writing is imagination and not fears. Poe has many great tales and poems, in the stories that we read in class did not have to do anything with his fears. Poe?s life or any ones life would not influence their writing. The stories he wrote are incredibly creative and he has wide imaginations. I like his stories and I look forward to read more stories that he wrote.