dividing line

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hi, i need to know if there is a clearly defined line that divides poe´s writting style in before and after his wife´s death (or another crucial event) ... what i´m trying to find is if there´s something that can explain the dualty present in poe between an extremely intense lover and a creepy spookey-stories writter ... thanx!

-- Anonymous, May 31, 2003


consider that there could be two purposes in Poe's writing. A lot of Poe's love poetry could have been writen for his own personal expression. There is an arguement that the driving factor behind Poe's more morbid writting was written for his audience that demanded more gothic and romantic work.

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2003

I think that Poe is really very consistent, even set for most of his writing life. It becomes more despairing, desperate, despondent and rebellious. You can see that going wild in "Hop Frog", but I think it is less a split or sea change than an emotional crisis that made it hard for him to write professionally. People had to help and cheer him up to write something like "The Bells" or "Annabel Lee". I think that process helped him emotionally no matter how grim the endings seem to be.

The duality as such is more complicated, that is, difficult to see and simply describe without doing Poe an injustice. Rational/intuitive inspired thinker. This a Romantic period man full of the ideal of reason and vision unchained. Though mad and erratic and enthusiastically going from one high(even if scientific enthusiasm) to another yet not as an undisplined asthete or European model. And the downs internal and in life experience were real downs, his life teetering on a see worthy of the Pit and Pendulum at times, Poe trying very hard despite his heightened sensitivity, to keep control, succeed and excel. Or the Imp of the perverse and his fear and deadly fascination with his own self-destruction, falling into his own abyss. So recognizing his war against himself he takes different sides and handles the opposing sides.

Now this is more personally profound than what you think you know about Poe. Intesnse lover? Read The Lake. The poertic experience is there called greater than love, though of course the real life bond to Virginia has all the natural power of any genuine marital relationsahip. The intensity is the fire of the Muse from an early age. the spooky stories was the genre of the day that served as a twilight stage for Poe's inner brand of poetic Romanticism, relaying the experience itself where persons events and descriptions have secondary, reduced and symbolic values only in regard to that power.

The death of Virgina brought another cruel blow of plain reality demolishing his all too real and mundane happiness, his anchor to the real world. And he didn't like it or exploit it as merely an inspiration. In "Hop Frog" especially you see real bitterness, satire, ravaging and reversing of his past entertainments, his critics and bosses reminding me Twain's killing off of Tom and Huck only with deeper rebellion. And defiantly, in that travesty of a story, he gives and atypical happy ending escape by the dwarf and his lady which when you think about it has a poignancy as heartbreaking as "Annnabel Lee."

Poe's last behavior aside, the different sides of this complex man date back to childhood.

-- Anonymous, June 04, 2003

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