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Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). Be sure to take notes, or I just may haunt you!. A segment of his obituary….

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Edgar allan poe 1809 1849
Edgar Allan Poe(1809-1849)

Be sure to take notes, or I just may haunt you!

A segment of his obituary
A segment of his obituary…

“Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it. The poet was known, personally or by reputation, in all this country; he had readers in England, and in several of the states of Continental Europe; but he had few or no friends; and the regrets for his death will be suggested principally by the consideration that in him literary art has lost one of its most brilliant but erratic stars.”

-The New York Tribune, Oct. 9, 1849

What does this obituary reveal about how Poe was viewed by many of his contemporaries?!

A brief overview of his life
A Brief Overview of his Life…

  • Born in Boston to two poor, struggling actors. Both mother and father died while Poe was a baby.

  • Taken in by wealthy couple, John and Francis Allan, who gave him access to a good education

  • Attended University of Virginia. During freshman year accumulated high gambling debts and developed a severe drinking problem. Still achieved all A’s. Due to his poor habits, Poe’s parents pulled him from college and Poe moved to Boston.

  • Poe attempted to publish a collection of poems at his own expense. This was a failure. He joined the army at age 18.

A brief overview of his life1
A Brief Overview of his Life…

  • Left the military and moved to New York and then Baltimore in pursuit of a career writing.

  • At age 26 Poe won $50 in a poetry contest. He also fell in love and married (his 13 year-old cousin, Virginia!)

  • Poe held many editor and critic positions for magazines and newspapers; however, his drinking got him fired from them all.

  • Poe’s writing career peaked in 1845 with the publication of many of his most famous poems and stories.

  • Virginia’s death in 1847 sent Poe onto a drunken binge. He did go on to get engaged to an old sweetheart, but shortly after, he “disappeared;” he was last seen in a tavern. Some say he

  • died in a gutter, and his body was not claimed for days.

Poe s genius was barely recognized by the literary establishment in his lifetime
Poe’s genius was barely recognized by the Literary Establishment in his lifetime…

  • Emerson called him “the Jingle Man”

  • Others said enthusiasm for Poe’s writing was “the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection.”

  • Poet T.S. Eliot said Poe’s intellect was that of a “highly gifted young person before puberty.”

    However, today Poe is recognized as a writer who had a huge influence on the American consciousness, especially in his use of the supernatural, strong rhythm, and striking images.

Poe s contributions and style
Poe’s Establishment in his lifetime…Contributions and Style

  • New establishment of symbolic poetry

  • Brought to life the short story as we now know it

  • Established psychological analysis and symbolism

  • His writing appeals simultaneously to reason and emotion

  • Concentrated on unity of tone in his poems and stories

  • Had the most scrupulous use of words (precise vocabulary)

Poe a romantic writer romanticism
Poe: a Romantic Writer… Establishment in his lifetime…Romanticism…

  • Imaginative and Personal

  • Emphasized intuition and inner perceptions

  • Focus on beauty and mystery of nature

  • External world of nature is often a reflection of the internal state of the narrator / other characters

  • Psychological literature

Literary terms to review
Literary Terms to Review: Establishment in his lifetime…

  • Characterization is the method used by a writer to develop a character. The method includes (1) showing the character's appearance, (2) displaying the character's actions, (3) revealing the character's thoughts, (4) letting the character speak, and (5) getting the reactions of others.

  • Imagery is language that evokes one or all of the five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching to create a picture in the reader’s mind.

  • Mood is the feeling the text evokes in the reader.

Let s look at poe s establishment of mood and precise choice of words diction
Let’s look at Poe’s establishment of Establishment in his lifetime… mood and precise choice of words (diction):

Heavy, sensory adjectives such as dull, dark, and soundless along with “d” alliteration establish mood.

During the whole of adull, dark, and soundless dayin theautumnof the year, when the clouds hungoppressively lowin the heavens, I had been passingalone, on horseback, through asingularly drearytract of country; and at length found myself, asthe shades of the evening drew on, withinview of the melancholy House of Usher.

This is the first sentence of the story “Fall of the House of Usher”

Even nature, through the clouds, is oppressively pushing down on the narrator.

Autumn implies decay and impending death

Isolation is emphasized through diction: “alone”, “singularly”

The phrase “shades of evening” again emphasizes the weight of the sky pulling down with nightfall.

The whole sentence leads up to the phrase “the melancholy House of Usher.” It is clear that not only is the house is fully entwined with the depressing and heavy natural world surrounding it, but the house also is personified: the house gives the viewer a sense of melancholy and the house itself is melancholy

Henry fuseli s silence
Henry Fuseli’s “Silence” Establishment in his lifetime…

What Romantic qualities does this painting have?

Think about shape, light, color, contrast, theme

Henry fuseli s the nightmare
Henry Fuseli’s “The Nightmare” Establishment in his lifetime…

What about this one?