Poe' s influences

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I need to know where Poe got some of his influence for writing and who he directly influenced.

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000


There is some question as to whether Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann influenced him. He was a German Romantic writer who pre-dated Poe by a couple of decades. Like Poe, Hoffmann employed elements of the High Gothic (i.e., the mental state upon being exposed to stress--the reader questions whether a supernatural event was actually the narrator's objective reality or whether it was the subjective projection of a questionable narrator) and the Schauer-romane (i.e., the demolition of the reader's belief in the rational). In other words, like Poe, Hoffmann forces the reader to question whether a supernatural event actually occurred, thereby defying the laws of nature, or whether the occurrence was merely an illusion presented by a questionable narrator.

Some excellent critics to check out would be Tzvetan Todorov, Horst S. Daemmrich, Frederick S. Frank, Anna Wittmann, G. R. Thompson, etc. I could list a host of others, but that will get you where you need to go. Searching the internet on Hoffmann will yield very little; therefore, ooks are your best bet if you wish to research Hoffmann.

I apologize for the length of my reply to a simple question. I pretty much tried to do a thesis comparing Hoffmann and Poe. It got so long that I had to completely cut Poe out of it. Needless to say, I find both authors--and the Dark Romantic--fascinating.

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000


Some of those that had any significant impact on Poe's works include Alexander Pope, John Milton, Lord Byron, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Edward Pinkney, William Shakespeare and, most certainly, Coleridge. Poe once said that, "Of Coleridge I cannot speak but with reverence. His towering intellect! his gigantic power... In reading his poetry I tremble -- like one who stands upon a volcano, conscious, from the very darkness bursting from the crater, of the fire and the light that are weltering below"

For a list of those influenced by Poe's work, see the thread at:


Good luck,

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000

Oh, I forgot about Coleridge. Good list, Tis. I was surprised to see Pope on your list until I remembered his biting criticism. :-) Do you know if Pope's literature had any influence on Poe? I would think Pope's criticism had more influence on Poe's criticisms/critiques than Pope's literature had on Poe's literature. (Well, that was quite awkwardly stated with the seeming redundancies. ) If you understood what I just asked, I'd be interested in hearing your take on that.


-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000

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