Analyse of "Philosophy of Composition" : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I'm an English as a second language student and I hope someone will give me some hints on my essay because I can't total totally get it.

the question is like that:

Analyze Poe's "Philosophy of Composition" with concern for rhetorical straegies and devices. What is his purpose, and how successful is he in his pursuit?? (I need to hang in my essay about Poe next Monday and please reply a.s.a.p., THANKS!!)


-- Anonymous, July 06, 2002


Sometimes the question broadly repeats the teacher's assignment so that it seems, at first glance, one must write the peaper to do it justice. Though this may be so let's try to put a few things in perspective(since, being Monday the paper or the excuses have been already presented).

Poe begins playfully and maintains the tone throughout, perhaps being the ironic "effect" of the essay itself. Quoting Dickens on "Calbe Williams" Poe begins an inquiry to the nature of the writing "process" a mystery not shared by most writers trying to maintain a public mystique about the divine inspirations of their craft.

Poe dismisses inspiration with the barest homage to the effect and the desire to evoke it. He proceeds to delineate outward from the unifying effect all the stages a work must go through to attain its artisitc completion. His ideals and examples are carefully chosen to emphasize technical planning to win over both critics and the public.

Finally, he takes us on a rare excursion into the writing and the meaning of the Raven and the calculated effects of its structure and "emblem." The poetic process is coldly exposed like a magician's trick, though playfully, as if the magician is boasting. "See, this is how it works, yet you are still tricked and amazed." Because he holds something of the truth and the skill in reserve. So this anti-essay, this antithesis of revelation, arouses suspicion that someone is pulling your leg as much as enlightening the method as promised.

For there are ever two Poes. The intellectual craftsman mocks those who think him only a crazed visionary possibly deriving his works whole cloth from dreams and the bottle. it is a counterbalance and a joke, the signature of the rational. The sadness and the strange melancholy in all its creative urge is the other side so coldly treated here, brought under control to produce a living piece of art.

These two partners do not seem perfectly conjoined or at odds. It is this quizzical genius, this mystification of the public, that is Poe's uninimatable gift.

-- Anonymous, July 09, 2002

P.E. your explination is good, but i think you just confused this poor fellow. I explained things to him with another point of view on the next message. He can do the research himself.

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2002

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