what did he feel was the most important thing that a short story should need to be successful

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please email me an answer soon as possible please/thank you

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2000



Poe wrote and lectured on his literary principles and, in my view at least, was exceptionally consistent in their application. Truthfully, I cannot say with certainty whether he ever went so far as to "label" them as least or most important. However, there were some beliefs he repeated often.

Poe believed that prose and poetry should be written to serve different and specific ideals. The purpose of poetry was to stir the heart and soul while prose should be written to serve the mind or the intellect. Secondly, that truth, that is to say factual truth or reality, was too limiting and severely confined an author's originality and creativity. He felt that while factual truth was certainly useful,its application should be wholly subservient to the theme of the story.

Finally, if there was any element that he felt was most important, I would have to say it was his belief in the concept of "unity of effect". This meant that once the author had predetermined the effect he wished to convey to the reader, all other elements must serve to support and enhance this singular effect and that nothing in the story should distract or provide divergence from it.


-- Anonymous, October 25, 2000

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