How Poe and his works influence the world around him : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

How did Poe's works have an influence on the world around him?

-- Anonymous, May 15, 2001


I think this vastly vague teacher question has been asked before. I think you have to concentrate- as did Poe- on his literary vocation. He wanted to purge American poetry of tripe and reliance on European influence and he certainly put incisive, honest criticism on the budding literary scene here. he greatly advanced the magazine market through popular innovations such as puzzles, hoaxes. He raised the literary level of popular fiction to a high, erudite art. He set the groundwork for the structure of the short story, invented the detective story as we know it through thousands of permutations of his work, and advanced the cause of innovative, symbolic poetry championing the cause of art over moral didacticism. "The Raven" was the biggest hit of any previous American poem. His influence upon his soul brother, Charles Baudelaire, spread his influence to Europe, again championing symbolism and the passionate cause of art for art's sake.

The connection between Poe and countless readers and disciples is a strong, positive affinity that rebels against a bloodless, status quo respectability with its moralizing strait jacket. Those who took inspiration, enjoyment or comfort from Poe's works are too many to even list, whether it be Lincoln, Shaw or Stephen King. if it hadn't been for a devastating campaign of post mortem slander and Poe's lack of perfect success in worldly matters his influence upon America and the world of letters would even be greater today, though the divide between passionately intuitive genius and the merely talented would always be there.

-- Anonymous, May 15, 2001

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