What do critics think of Poe's gothic/horror writing style?

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I'm in the process of doing a presentation on EAP. My thesis is that some critics love EAP's gothic style while others hate it. I don't need that much help with this because I ordered a book called "Critics on Poe" that should be coming in a few days, but until then, does anyone have advice on where i can find this information?

-- Anonymous, May 12, 2003


I happen to know for a fact that the eminent critic, Harold Bloom hates Poe. But he does talk about a phenomenon called "French Poe".

-- Anonymous, May 13, 2003

Just beware of those who dislike Poe as a person or Gothic fiction as a genre. Both those attitudes are quite beside the point and at root very often dishonest. There are things accessible online perhaps through your libray online subscription database(ask your librarian)or links through www.eapoe.org, Poe Studies etc.

Poe's style compared to other practicioners of that now defunct genre(German Romantic Gothic)was much more ingenious, orderly, artful and VERY subdued in supernatural elements and wildly similes and hyperbole. Oddly, many of our modern novelists are abusers of inappropriate and exagerrated similes. Poe wanted more suggestive, reduced descriptions, an economy natural to a lyrical metaphorical poet of his type.

The major elements of the genre of course are all there, from the wild excited moody and hyper sensitive hero, the fantastic experiences of dark and threatening dreamlike and faraway places, obsessions, encounters with death. Poe often conquers the mammoth obstacles and dark mysteries through application of the mind and science in intuitive leaps of will and genius. THAT is new and led to the creation of the modern detective story. He made the art a model for the unties of the short story, borrowed from the unities of drama of the classics. THAT was new to the pulp popular genre writers though not to the German philosophers that set this fantasy flight in motion.

As a poet he brought all those skills into his storytelling, sentence structure and choice of symbols and metaphors often including poetic masterpieces as integral parts of the story(Usher- The Haunted Palace, Ligeia- The Conqueror Worm).

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2003

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