By J. Gerald Kennedy

ISBN-10: 019512149X

ISBN-13: 9780195121490

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), son of itinerant actors, holds a safe position within the firmament of historical past as America's first grasp of suspense. exhibiting scant curiosity in local scenes or fabrics, Edgar Allan Poe turns out the main un-American of yank writers through the period of literary nationalism; but he used to be while a realistic magazinist, totally engaged in pop culture and extremely interested by the "republic of letters" within the usa. This ancient consultant includes an creation that considers the tensions among Poe's "otherworldly" settings and his traditionally marked representations of violence, in addition to a pill biography situating Poe in his old context. the following essays during this booklet hide such themes as Poe and the yank Publishing undefined, Poe's Sensationalism, his relationships to gender structures, and Poe and American privateness. the amount additionally encompasses a bibliographic essay, a chronology of Poe's existence, a bibliography, illustrations, and an index.

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Extra resources for A Historical Guide to Edgar Allan Poe (Historical Guides to American Authors)

Example text

But they had little opportunity for collaboration: during the long hot summer Henry's condition became grave, and on August 1 he died. That year Poe looked without success for temporary 3O Edgar Allan Poe work about the city, and in the midst of a cholera epidemic that swept the East, he responded to an announcement in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier offering one hundred dollars for the best original tale. Drawing on his eclectic reading, Poe produced a series of short, quirky narratives, mostly send-ups of the styles and forms popular in the monthly magazines.

Two months earlier, however, Poe had aligned himself with "all men of sense" (L, 87) in lauding Lucian Minor's "Liberian Literature," which recalled the "horrors of the Middle Passage" and celebrated advances in Liberia by way of endorsing colonization, the strategy favored by "gradualists" opposed to both "immediatist" abolition and the indefinite perpetuation of slavery. As Poe discovered in Richmond, there was mounting pressure to present a united Southern front on slavery, as well as increasing surveillance of newspapers and journals; but Poe (and White) also wanted to retain the support of Northern subscribers and so endeavored to articulate what Terence Whalen has called an "average racism," a lukewarm view of slavery that offended as few (white) readers as possible (111-46).

Since William Lloyd Garrison had launched the abolitionist movement in 1831 with his fiery newspaper, the Liberator, Southerners who had been divided themselves about the "peculiar institution" felt under increasing scrutiny in their public discourse. If the Virginia legislative debates of 1831-32 had exposed sharp regional differences, the proliferation of pamphlets by the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1835—tracts aimed at Southern readers—produced defensive reactions, as well as a new, pro-slavery ideology.

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