The Significance of Poe and his writings : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Can someone tell me the major impact that Poe had on America? Also, what is the significance of him as a writer? What made him so important? his influences? significances? impacts?


-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001


If you have some way of checking the Q/A database you will find this one of the main questions addressed over and over again.

It breaks down into what is currently recognized: 1. Master poet and storyteller, innovations AND theoretical essays to make a brilliant new aesthetic. In other words, more poetic passion and literary depth than most American writers. 2. Inventor of the modern detective story and most of its common elements.(The "Edgar" is the mystery award given yearly._ 3. Establishing real criticism(aesthetic, biting) 4. Influence on the European symbolists via Baudelaire and thus back again to America.

The "two Poes", that is the progressive Ammerican spirit of science and invention, sound reasoning and the intuitive dark romantic. The wedding of these two in art creates that uniqueness I suppose especially exemplified in the detective stories.

Poe's outsider, warring status versus the Northeast establishment, in the end crippled his staus in Amemrica, making him almost a separate influence on future writers. While his tales and a few popular sustained his influence over the dark years, it is his creative intellectual brilliance that he did not hesitate to show in the simplist ghoulish story that will entice people into the greater depths of his artistry.

There is a long list of writers of Poe's intuitive imagination school or like Conan Doyle and Verne mixing science with it. Some people keep bringing up comparisons with other writer's short stories. A CLOSE study of a Poe tale and theirs side by side will show you eventually how much more is in the Poe tale than you might have first suspected, and how simplistic most imitators are in comparison, though they might do one thing or another more effectively than Poe.

And simply, though there were other writers, still loyally declared to be of the first magnitude(Emerson, Longfellow,Hawthorne, etc.), Poe was a pioneer genius. None matched his scope,sharpness and passion- and he realized it. Unfortunately, none had suffered as much disappointment and tragdedy. He was our first true "poete damne".

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-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001

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