How did Edgar Allan Poe's personal life affect his works? : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Hey, I have this focus paper due Thursday and need help. Can somebody please help me? Email me if u can. Thanx.

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2003


The subject you have to work at needs, to be well done, a deep knowledge of Poe's life and works. But how could you acquire it in a few days? I suggest you to build your paper around this reflection. And you may insist on the fact that nothing permits us to deduce any biographical element from Poe's created narrators, characters and fiction, and the converse too. Poe tranfused some autobiographical elements, for conscious aesthetic effect, in some of his compositions (cfr. "William Wilson", for example, wherein are evoked Poe's own early schoolyears spent in England), as well as some of his reflexions on Beauty and Art in general, on Knowledge, on God and human Destiny, on Religion, on Genius and Mind, on Astronomy and other scientific matters, on Life and Death, but, again, staging them all for effect. You will discover them in his critical writings and other non-fiction miscellanies, most of all available on line at, among his "works".

But if they intend to lead you to speak about problems of alcohol, about familial woes and mourning, about poverty, about slanders, about rival coteries, about "literary battles", and the like -- all real facts in Poe's poor life, though (and, for all these and other ones, you ought always to consult true and attested data, as catalogued in the conspicuous Jackson/Thomas "Poe Log") -- the best way, to my mind at least, should be to go firstly to Poe's opulent correspondence (also available on line at, amid "works - -- Letters"). There, you will far better discover the real Poe "Such as into Himself Eternity changes him...", and, in any case, in a far more reliable way than by deducing any thing from Eddie's artful fascinating stories and poems.

Good luck.

Yours sincerely,

Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2003

Sorry, but to be more exact, please, read "Such as into Himself AT LAST Eternity changes him...". Yours, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2003

Dear - O - Dear


Don't hurry as so much.... At least!

Sincerely yours

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2003

it his is tears on loseleaf

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2003

Just to express some irritation. Why is it that this most difficult of questions is so commonly asked of Poe? Because many think the answer is legendary and simple so that a younger student can see it. That is very perilous considering the popular misconceptions and actual artistic distance Poe puts between his works and his life. It CAN be powerful and clear, but it is not simple to get to it. besides, Poe just as well may be said to be writing for the money and to the market- which he was, or to make artistic masterworks not personal emotional release- which is also true of poems considered peprsonal and intimate.

So Poe and his relationships, death and loss, alcoholism(NOT as inspiration but as handicap), Poe's sense of lonely poetic vision, his excited interest in science, American literature and revelling in his own genius. Some of his deepest poetic emotional life means more to him than loves, success(see "The Lake" the last version) which shows him touching upon his fundamental soul through the avenue of nature and art. Curiously that gives him more detachment and less tragic personal closeness to his poems and stories than one would suspect.

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2003

Moderation questions? read the FAQ