Help! "The Black Cat" !! : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Do you think Poe is really superstition? And how about the guy who killed his cat? Is he crazy or guilty?

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2001


Superstitious? I would be interested to know if he had any common idiosyncrasies. His writings and life portray- once more- a duality. He is very much the rationalist. Few of his stories rely heavily on a supernatural element. Atmosphere and gothic terror yes- hobgoblins and ghosts no.Yet he did feel repelled and attracted by haunting memories of the dead he could not exorcize from his mind. In fact, he courted these spiritual impressions, this murky dream state, as any true romantic poet of the era would have done in his place.

In light of the above an answer about the man in "The Black Cat". His reason becomes overthrown by drink which brings out and magnifies to obsessive rage his worst tendencies. The cat really jives with his obsessions and bizarre fantasies enough to push him over the edge.(The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven). Rule number one: be careful on characterizing the writer by the content and genre of his writings. You may be on to something but it is rarely a simple matter to root it out. Knowing the writer's life is a good first step. A good book I recommend on an easier to understand, contemporary writer, is Stephen King's "On Writing." And never, ever ever, end up with a sentence of just thirteen words.


-- Anonymous, September 19, 2001

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