I need to know how Poe's life contributed to his writing, and what works he shows things about his life in?

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i have to do a research paper on whether or not poe's life effected his writing, the rough draft is due december 9th, so if i could get responses by then that would be wonderful. thanks

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002


Two paths to the answer. Both need some knowledge of his biography. His isolation as an orphan separated from his siblings and his unique artistic perceptions gave him his Muse of melancholy and a personal ideal to pursue. He found his literary inspiration in the character and works of the contemporary British Romantics, especially I would say Byron in imitation of his works and sympathy for his primary inspiration that spoke to Poe's own. His education and skills in lietrary and science subjects at college and West Point gave him balance in his mind when home and loves wewre shaky or lost. He was poor most of his life unlike the British poets who suually had means to throw themselves out into Bohemian lifestyles. Poe sought work in magazines and other odd jobs, quitting or more frequently getting let go by editors. His first love, Elmira Royster, was denied him and married off to another. His youthful mentor into developing himself as a writer, Mrs. Stanard, had died, as had his beloved stepmother, Mrs. Allan. These emotions focussed much of his early poetic work and some of his stories. He tapped into the haunting of memories he would not shake off because they held his heart and artisitic inspiration together in ways both disturbing and beautiful, showing himslef a diivided man at times unable to move on yet oppressed by the dead presence of unworldly ghosts(less spectres than silent presences). The genres of the Romantics, the melancholic idyllic poetry using the past as metaphor, the decay and wildness, the Gothic tales and philosophies were not original to Poe but he certainly was more personal than imitative in his use of them.

However, to divide the man from the artist once more, it must be said that each work was a separate artistry not intended or exactly defined as autobiographical or confessional even when to us the personal reference seems obvious. Once these idealized forms were completed they were professional things of their own, even commodities to attribute to different lady friends at different times. Only the outside observer can see the repeating of moods and themes that reveal Poe's own feelings, priorities, obsessions or pain. Even in his letters Poe is not entirely candid or illuminating about his life itself. For him art is his primary way to transcend the ordinary tragedy of life and converse with himself in strong passions he was deprived of by life since a small child.

-- Anonymous, November 19, 2002

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