Phobias... : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Can anyone tell me what phobia(s) Poe had? A swift answer would be greatly appreciated, Im doing this for extra credit.

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2003


It's not a great answer - but what about tuberculosis?

His mother, foster mother, and wife died from it - maybe it was an fear that he too would die from it (meaning he thought it was only a matter of time).

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2003

tuberculosis is not a phobia you moron, it is a disease! but i do believe he was paranoid, anxiety, and had a slight case of dementia...

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2003

"Phobia" is a psychal disorder diagnose not in the same usage in Poe's time, as we mean it today, at least (implying "neurosis"). No reliable report available to believe that Poe was suffering of any phobia. For some of his serious short stories, he staged created fiction narrators (e.g. in the "Premature Burial", the "Black Cat", the "Tell-Tale Heart" &c...) or characters with various psychiatrical/mental disorders or frailties (including what we call phobias today), described with almost clinical accuracy, but just for effect...! Don't imagine them autobiographical confessions, please! The only heavy fear Poe seems to have abnormally felt, during his last and gloomy years, was for darkness, as he himself privately avowed, and as documented from various first-hand intimate testimonies. Hoping this useful for you, Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2003

I agree with Ravenshade. Minor phobias that Poe nervously made fun of in himself include premature burial fears, the dark, ghosts, etc. the stuff of titilating horror fiction that were not THE fears of Poe's life. Those fears were deeply internal based on his life and career difficulties and losses. Physically and clinically the effects of alcoohol probably accounted for any "crazier" fears, one explicit case of the DT's he documents for example. A horror/attraction feeling of vertigo was something that accompanied him for a long time and is related to his views on darkness.

However, this question, as many others, implies the insanity and wildness of Poe, the legend that gets in the way of reality, the absurdity that singles him out above many other writers far more genuinely afflicted with much more realproblems. It also goes to the fallacy of looking for the geius within abnormality because common people can't write like that. This is sailing a big boat in shallow waters, my friends.

I sometimes urge people to clear up these mysteries by reading the truly confessional and instructional bio-manual "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" by Stephen King. He is not Poe but the issues are there clearly addressed and gets this false legend down to earth, including the real dope on dope and alcohiol in the creative life- and it ain't necessary or positive or romantic.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2003

This girl OMG. She is in love with Edgar Allan Poe. She talks about him all the time. She is always saying how hot he is. I just want to barf. YUCK

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2003

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