The "real" Poe : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

What was Poe realy like. As in was he the person depicted in his writings?

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2002


Not the person depicted in his writings no more than any other writer and considerably less than some. Fair biographies will help. Poe always had a precocious and often self-defeating elan but he was very mannered and well-spoken socially. We only hear about the wild episodes which generally were times of great stress when poverty and tragedy had him lunging for straws. We also perpetuate the slander of his personal enemies and the old nostrums of how a writer must be like the stuff he writes. A sense of social immaturity(orphaned, lost foster home, lost his first love) and obliviousness to how he was making eneies or ruining his career does come out and he certainly was a more striking personality than the staid Bostonians and other dullish literary figures. You have to read a lot by Poe and about Poe to get a sense. I can't buy into his enemies prejudices. Some of his fans go a bit far in idealiizing him too.

-- Anonymous, December 06, 2002

Poe was only like C. Auguste Dupin, the brilliant Platonic analyst. The other characters in his stories exhibited methods of thinking that Poe was ironically attacking. In reality, Poe was an intelligence agent of "Whig" patriotic circles, who promoted the methods of Plato, Kepler, Leibniz and Schiller against the Romantic movement of "sense certainty" and "feeling states". Poe explicitly attacks this mindset in his stories. In many cases, Poe is attacking real people in his stories, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, the "transcendentalist" backed by Poe's enemies in the British East India Company. Poe is the greatest American "spook", who is in the same "American System" tradition, as is statesman and presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche today. Poe's objective was to use irony and paradox to get you, the reader, to think like Dupin. For more details, please see my website at

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

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