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Why was Edgar Allan Poe obsessed with pre-mature burial? And how was his life related to his work? Did it have any influence at all? What made him write about death? Thank you.

-- Anonymous, May 08, 2002


In his short piece "The Premature Burial" which highlights the phenomenon anecdotally poe concludes with an incident where his imagination causes a frightening and humiliating episode of his own. It is sensationalism permeated with chiding mockery at such interests(including especially his own). None of those anecdotes contain anything personal except the last (fictional?) but that all detail the thoughts of the men "buried alive" and not the woman.

I would assume that on the surface at least, Poe's own irregular heartbeat or illnesses, produced this anxious thought for which he also took precautions among his last wishes. More deeply, the phenomenon is an extreme illustration of themes at the foundation of Poe's art and philosophy. That is the translucent barrier between life and death, that the dead never depart wholly(at least as they oppress the memory)and the fear of death and the unknown for one lingering on the borderline. For Poe felt himself spiritually there all too often, hovering motionless and trapped between the past and the dim afterlife.

-- Anonymous, May 09, 2002

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