major events : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

What was some of the most important pieces of work he has ever did?

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001


Dear Devon,

How does one even begin to answer this question? This is really a toughie, given that Poe was such a multifarious writer.

I'm not quite sure how to approach this really, but I'll give it a try:

Even to attempt classifying his importance in accordance to particular genres results in a somewhat impossible task. By this I mean that many critics would argue that Poe is best reknowned for his short stories, and among these I would cite just a few of the most essential ones: "The Fall of The House of Usher", "The Masque of the 'Red Death'", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Cask of Amontillado", "Ligeia", "The Pit and the Pendulum", The Black Cat", "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", and a very long so forth, where one could wind up putting in more and more and more until defeating the purpose, because Poe's short stories are really good, since this was the genre he mostly cultivated.

However, and if I don't make this clear then I know I'm going to be in trouble, there are those that consider Poe as ranking among the literary because of his poetry: "The Raven", in particular was probably Poe's magnus opus, and that which he seems to be most remembered for (think of Poe and you cannot help but to think also of "The Raven"); add to this numerous others, such as "The Bells", "Annabel Lee", "The City in the Sea", "The Sleeper"... and again a rather long et cetera would arise.

In conclusion, I would argue both for the fact that he is remembered for his short stories AND for his poetry (this it not to mention a whole other area of importance, namely his criticism), but as to which specific works are essential really rather depends upon personal choice. I have already cited some of mine above.

I hope that this goes some way towards answering your question, and if you still have any doubts, please feel free to e-mail and we can debate the point:

Yours sincerely,


-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

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