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Was Poe like a drunk i heard he was passed out at his dead wifes grve site alot

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2001


Poe defnds his alcoholism in classic fashion, but he was too aware of its effects. "The Black Cat." One defense is the illness of Virginia. At least after the mourning he tried to get off the wagon with dramatic lapses. The only help he had back then was the temperance movement. Poe also had enemies and his unique appearance and reputation created the same prejudice that dramatizes a rather common affliction. Stephen King in his "On Writing" goes through his own addictive stage and recovery. G.B. Shaw in defense of Poe correctly points out that Poe in his entire life did not consume as much as one Dylan Thomas bender.(OK, maybe that is a typrical Shaw exageration)Scrolling down this greenspun database will give you a variety of good and bad answers. www.eapoe.org will give the most objective analysis based on what is known and the sources of that knowledge. Bluntly, Poe was affected inordinately by small amounts of liquor and went over the limit at several periods of his life. His friends, fellow imbibers?, insisted that except for excitability he maintained wit and manners. Enemies would emphasize the negative tempers and tipsiness and self-destructive behavior when drinking before important occasions. Nor did it help his health, though shortly before his death he was on reformation mode, but was found sick and disheveled in a tavern.(see the controversy about the cause of Poe's death)

The wild connections between his imagination, behavior and life should be seen in the context of a good biography, not the equally wild, unfounded legend constantly being passed on by ancient rumour and fnatasy.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2001

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