Poe's phobias

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What were Edgar Allen Poe's phobias?

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2003


Despite his claims about enjoying his sea voyage, as opposed to the more nauseated Byron, Poe had several physical reactions such as vertigo and his sroties explore the limits of setting in ways that suggest agoraphobia AND claustrophobia. He luaghed away his own fear of ghosts, the dark and he loved to frighten himself and explore murky landscapes of mist and night. Silence was a source of incipient awe and terror. You might not now he loved cats and owned a couple if you read only his story "The Black Cat." "The Premature Burial" coupled with other revenant, resurrection stories leads you to suspect this was a fear and it was, but note the humorous self-deprecation at the end of that series of anecdotes.

All in all, like a good popular sensationalist mining the emotions for the extreme like any Romantic of the period, Poe enjoyed his hypersensitivities and used them. He exagerrated them, but also made provisions for friends to make sure he was not buried alive himself. His curiosity and knowledge fed his imagination of course. Alcoholism tragically increased the negative influences of vertigo, heart problems, hypoglycemia. Fear of ruining himself "The Imp of the Perverse" shows his self-knowledge and trouble with his inability to conquer these or other fears. His real phobia was probably disassociation, the loss of his innermost refuge while his status in life was tragic and shaky. And, of course, without absolute faith in things beyond his life and the present, fear of death itself.

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2003

Edgar Allan Poe had five major fears, which he expressed one or more of in each of his literary pieces. These fears/obsessions were the death of a beautiful woman, the fear of being buried alive, the fear of abandonment by mankind, the fear of tuberculosis and the fear of insanity.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2004

that is all true. i'm related to him so i know

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2004

I think his fears show in his writings. His stories and poems.

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2004

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