why does poe write about the gothic theme

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why did poe write with a gothic theme. what do all his works have in common. how do his works relate to each other. please send me valuable information containing answers to these questions and other valuable information as well. it would be greatly appericated. dale.

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2001


Poe wrote Gothic stories which were common fare for the times, derived from German tales of the romantic period. He tried his hand at other themes such as humor, adventure, speculative fiction and even parodied the gothic style for its excesses. The choice of a romantic, supernatural mood told in a poetical language(poems often included)places him in the romantic school of Coleridge, Byron, etc. His works have a strong, though often unintentional, biographical influence. (Read Silverman's biography on Poe) Though Poe was extremely reticent about speaking directly of death or the deceased, his personal ghosts never seem to depart- as he often wished they would. In short, Poe was very creative, a poet, an inventor of the detective story, pioneer of literary criticism and theory, innovator of magazine publishing(the puzzles and codes). Obviously his best known stories are gothic. His personal favorite was Ligeia, where again a woman dies and rises again. (With Virginia's long decline and death his idealized, romantic taste for this theme evaporates.) What ties all thme together for me is the centrality of Poe's conviction that a good poem must be fairly short, a story united to convey one strong emotion. There is no question that Poe's taste was often a bit grim and his humor could be flat black, but his writings as a whole show a balanced, lively and eclectic mind despite the terrible hardships of his personal life.

-- Anonymous, April 26, 2001

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